Karachi blasts: US to assist Pakistan

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Washington, Oct 20: The Bush Administration has offered assistance to Pakistan in dealing with the aftermath of Thursday's suicide attacks in Karachi targeting former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

"The United States condemns this terrorist attack that was conducted during a peaceful rally for former Prime Minister and her party members, and we do send our condolences to the victims of that attack," State Department's Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said.

He said, the United States stood with the people of Pakistan to eliminate the threat of terrorism, and to build an open, democratic and peaceful society.

Casey noted that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the government of Pakistan have condemned the attack and that Mr Musharraf has promised a full investigation.

The spokesman, however, said "we do not know who is responsible for this terrible attack. But we hope that the individuals who are, found and brought to justice. We do not wish to see any actions take place that would undermine the democratic process in Pakistan or make it harder for the Pakistani people to have an opportunity to express their views in free and fair elections." "The message must go out that we will not tolerate this terrorist violence, we will give support to the Pakistani authorities in dealing with those terrorists who have caused the bombings and we will support at all times the attempts by the Pakistani people to re-establish a democracy in their country," Casey said.

He also noted that former Prime Minister Bhutto had spoken and commended the courage of the security personnel who were protecting her.

U S Ambassador Anne Patterson spoke with the government officials in Pakistan to convey our condolences and also to offer the US assistance, should the Government of Pakistan need it in response to this attack.

She has also called former Prime Minister Bhutto just to convey our sympathy.

Casey said the United States hoped to see that a thorough investigation is conducted of this incident.


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