Pakistan political parties express solidarity with the governments position in the wake of Mumbai attacks; US urges Pakistan to cooperate with India on terror attack probe; Zardari: India and Pakistan should sign an agreement to counter terror
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  • In the backdrop of the Mumbai terror attacks, an all-party meet was held in Islamabad on December 2. Reports noted that representatives of 58 political parties who had gathered - both from the ruling coalition as well as the opposition, expressed solidarity with the government’s position over the issue1. President Asif Ali Zardari noted that great countries like India “could not be held hostage by non-state actors2.” Earlier, in an interview on November 30, Zardari stated that India and Pakistan should sign an agreement to facilitate questioning of suspected militants in each others’ territory3.

    In the wake of the attacks, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to the sub-continent and met with both the Indian and the Pakistani leadership. At a press conference in New Delhi on December 4 prior to her visit to Islamabad, Rice asked the Pakistani authorities to cooperate “fully and transparently” with India in investigating those responsible for the Mumbai attacks4. The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen also urged Pakistan to look into “any and all possible ties” of militant groups based in Pakistan to the Mumbai carnage5.

    Amidst increasing international pressure, Prime Minister Gilani on his part reportedly told a visiting delegation of US Senators that Pakistan would not allow the use of its territory for militant activities6.

    In other developments, at least 22 people were killed and around 90 injured in powerful car bomb explosion in Peshawar on December 5.