Rice Concerned Over Indo-Pak Tensions

Rice Concerned Over Indo-Pak Tensions
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has expressed concern to India and Pakistan over escalating tensions between them after Islamabad redeployed troops to their border, the State Department said on Tuesday.

Rice spoke to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee over the telephone, cautioning against raising tensions after last month's Mumbai attacks which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militants, the department said.

"She has made it part of her conversations to note that tensions are already high, that neither side should be taking actions that increase those tensions," said department spokesman Gordon Duguid.

Rice had also noted in the talks that Pakistan had "made some positive steps but that these steps need to be continuous, that we need to have both sides work together to find the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

Rice also called Mukherjee on Christmas Day and Zardari on Monday, according to Duguid.

Asked about Pakistan's troop movements, Duguid said "The United States has called for both sides not take any actions that would increase tension. We are looking for both sides to find cooperative actions to fight terrorism.
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