US President-elect Barack Obama on Monday said he expected Islamabad to fully cooperate with New Delhi in the investigations into the Mumbai terror attacks and said India, like other sovereign nations, has the right to "protect" itself.
"My expectation is that President (Asif Ali) Zardari of Pakistan, who has already said that he will fully cooperate with the investigation, will follow through with that commitment," Obama said echoing the remarks made by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice earlier in the day.
Asked if India has the right to "take out" high-value targets inside Pakistan with or without the permission of Islamabad, as he espousing in regard to the US under his presidency, Obama said "I think that sovereign nations, obviously, have a right to protect themselves."
"Beyond that, I don't want to comment on the specific situation that's taking place in South Asia right now. I think it is important for us to let the investigators do their jobs and make a determination in terms of who was responsible for carrying out these heinous acts," the President-elect said.
Introducing his new cabinet members, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama said his administration will remain steadfast in support of India's efforts to catch the perpetrators of the deadly strikes and bring them to justice.
"And I expect that the world community will feel the same way," he added.