New Delhi: Pakistan has made “some progress" in weeding out extremist elements from its institutions, former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said Saturday but she also called for a distinction to be made between “stateless" actors perpetrating acts of terrorism vis a vis “state sponsored terrorism."

In New Delhi for the 11th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Rice, who was US national security advisor between 2000-04 and the first African American US secretary of state between 2005-09, said there was a nuanced difference between “stateless" actors and “state-sponsored" terrorism as “sometimes there is a state within a state" – preferring to call it “embedded terrorism within states."

India blames some sections of the Pakistani establishment for helping the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant group for planning and executing the 26-29 November 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

Governments in New Delhi have repeatedly accused Pakistan of using terrorism “as an instrument of state policy" against India for decades. But Pakistan, which denies harbouring anti-India elements, initially blamed “non-state" actors for the Mumbai attacks. But later in 2009, Pakistan detained seven people including LeT leader Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi for the Mumbai attacks. The judicial process against the group has been proceeding since then.

According to Rice, extremism continues to remain an existential threat for Pakistan. But “we need to work with Pakistan," she said.

In her speech at the HT summit, Rice heaped praise on India for its inclusivity and democracy." India is a marvellous example of how that can work," she said referring to an “inclusive society."

“India and the US share values of democracy, religious tolerance and an inclusive society," she added.“When two countries share values, there is no limit to cooperation," Rice said.

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