Rice`s comments out of context: PM House spokesman

Last Updated: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 09:59

Islamabad: Former US Secretary of State
Condoleeza Rice`s revelations about her conversation with
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the aftermath of the 2008
Mumbai attacks have been taken "out of context" as she had
conceded that Pakistani state was not involved in the
incident, a spokesman said on Friday.

Reacting to a front page report in The News daily today
that had quoted Rice`s remark to Gilani that "either you`re
lying to me or your people are lying to you", a spokesman for
the Prime Minister`s House described the report as being "out
of context".

Rice had "conceded herself that the state of Pakistan was
not involved in the gruesome Mumbai incident", the spokesman
said.

Both the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan had
condemned the Mumbai attacks and "conveyed their condolences
to the people and government of India over the loss of
precious lives".

"Terrorists were the enemies of not only Pakistan and
India but also of the entire world. They deserved to be
condemned and defeated," the spokesman said.

The report was based on excerpts from Rice`s recent
memoir "No Higher Honor".

During a meeting held after the attacks in Mumbai in
November 2008, Gilani told rice that the terrorists who
carried out the attacks had nothing to do with Pakistan.

In her memoir, Rice wrote: "Mr Prime Minister, I said,
either you are lying to me or your people are lying to you. I
then went on to tell him what we ? the US ? knew about the
origins of the attack."

When Rice arrived in Islamabad, the Pakistani leadership
was still denying what the world knew by then ? that the
attackers were from Pakistan.

"The Pakistanis were at once terrified and in the same
breath dismissive of the Indian claims. President (Asif Ali)
Zardari emphasised his desire to avoid war but couldn`t bring
himself to acknowledge Pakistan`s likely role in the attacks,"
Rice wrote.

However, Rice also acknowledged that army chief Gen
Ashfaq Pervez Kayani "was the one person who, even if he could
not admit responsibility, understood that Pakistan would have
to give an accounting of what had happened."

Rice’s recollections in her memoir about the Mumbai
attacks had been reported by the Indian media nearly two
months ago.

However, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s House had offered
no clarification at the time.

A total of 166 people, including six Americans, were
killed in the attacks blamed on the Pakistan-based
Lashkar-e-Taiba.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 16, 2011 - 09:59

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