Bush appeals India-Pak to ease tension

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Manmohan Singh, Bush and Zardari
Washington, Jan 1: George W Bush, the outgoing US President on Thursday, Jan 1 called up his Pakistan counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. All the three leader agreed on the need to avoid any action that would further 'raise tensions' between India and Pakistan.

In his telephone conversation Bush urged Pakistan to cooperate with India in the on-going Mumbai terror attack probe. Tension is escalating between India and Pakistan over the suspected involvement of Pakistan-based terror outifts in the Nov 26 Mumbai attacks.

White House spokesperson, Gordon Johndroe said, "Bush called Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh of India and separately President (Asif Ali) Zardari of Pakistan. President Bush urged both to cooperate with each other in the Mumbai attack investigation as well as on counter-terrorism.

"All three leaders from the United States, India and Pakistan agreed that no one wanted to take any steps that unnecessarily raise tensions," Johndroe emphasised.

Meanwhile Zardari on his side assured Bush that Pak government will not allow its territory to be used by non-state actors for 'terror activities. If found guilty such people will be punished strigently.

US President and Zardari also discussed the situation and bilateral ties.

India has accused Pak-based elements, including Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist group for the Mumbai attacks in which nearly 200 people died. India has asked to Pakistan to take strict action against those terror outfits. But Pakistan is in denial mode and said that they are waiting for India to share evidence and information regarding Mumbai strikes so that the investigation can go further.

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