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India & Pakistan have a common enemy: US
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January 07, 2009 14:39 IST

Maintaining that India and Pakistan face the greatest threat from 'violent extremists' and not from each other, the United States has said that it is in the interest of both countries to work together to bring perpetrators to justice and prevent future strikes.

Pointing out that the origins of the Mumbai terrorist attack were in Pakistan, the US said the exchange of information between Islamabad [Images] and New Delhi [Images] on the issue was 'encouraging'.
 "Well, we've talked about the origins of the attack coming from Pakistani soil. Secretary Condoleezza Rice [Images] during her visit to the region said that herself," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said at his briefing.

"The greatest threat isn't from each other, whether that be India or Pakistan; it's from the violent extremists," he said.

Observing that the common enemy are the extremists, McCormack said, "It's in their interest to work together, to exchange information, to get the full picture, and to be able to act to prevent attacks, as well as to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks in Mumbai".

McCormack said the escalating tension between the two South Asian neighbours need to be managed, "and thus far it would seem that the two sides have an interest in doing that."

"Exchange of information between India and Pakistan is encouraging," he added.

Referring to the ongoing visit of Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher to the region, McCormack said he "put it very well in saying that each side, in terms of putting together the full picture here, has pieces of the puzzle".

India has handed over to Pakistan concrete evidence about the involvement of elements based in that country in the Mumbai terror attacks [Images].

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