WASHINGTON - The recent visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to India and Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks has added more fuel to the fire, instead of easing tensions between the two countries, according to a Montreal-based think-tank. A report Global Research pointed out that while in New Delhi, Rice publicly backed India's demands on Pakistan for tough measures against the alleged perpetrators of the atrocity. The following day, after meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad, she declared that Pakistan was "very focussed and committed" to fighting terrorism, but reinforced the message that the Pakistani government had to provide "unequivocal assistance" to India. The report noted that Rice's trip took place amid a rash of leaks in the Indian and US media blaming the Pakistan-based Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba for masterminding the Mumbai attacks. Citing unnamed Indian officials, the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday declared that India had identified Yusuf Muzammil as the man who orchestrated the plan. In the Indian press, a myriad of leaked accounts have been published based on the alleged confessions of the one captured gunmen, Ajmal Amir Kasab, who, it is said, admitted to being a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba and training in Pakistan. An article in today's Hindu went one step further to claim that India had "proof" that the Pakistani military intelligence"the Inter-Services Intelligence agency"was involved in the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Significantly, the New York Times cited an unnamed former US Defence Department official as saying that "American intelligence agencies had determined that former officers from Pakistan's Army and its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency helped to train the Mumbai attackers". "No evidence has been made public to confirm any of these assertions. "Several articles have cast doubt on even the basic claims made about the detained gunman. The British-based Times noted that Pakistani officials had been unable to trace Kasab to the village of Faridkot in Punjab"a fact widely cited by Indian police"and pointed out that there were in fact three villages with that name in the province. An article in the Asia Times today noted that contradictory stories in the Indian press variously described Kasab as a small-time pickpocket, an impoverished villager and a well-educated youth fluent in English. Pakistani leaders have repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks, it said. Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, President Zardari cast doubt over the identity of the arrested gunman, saying: "We have not been given any tangible proof to say that he is definitely a Pakistani. I very much doubt that he's a Pakistani." He blamed "stateless actors" operating throughout the region, and reiterated that Pakistan "itself has been a victim of terrorism and [is] fighting the menace resolutely". The report said, "The media leaks, particularly those by US officials, are aimed at undercutting Pakistani disclaimers and reinforcing American demands that Islamabad take action against elements of the military and the ISI who in the past have backed various Islamist militias. That is the message behind Rice's declaration that the Pakistani government had to engage in 'rooting out terrorists and rounding up whoever perpetrated this [Mumbai] attack, from wherever it was perpetrated, whatever its sources, whatever the leads'. "In pressuring Pakistan to bow to Indian demands, the Bush administration is recklessly aggravating a volatile situation. The unstable Pakistani government is widely regarded as a puppet of Washington for assisting the US-led occupation of Afghanistan by unleashing the military against anti-occupation insurgents operating from border areas in Pakistan. At the same time, the accusations against the ISI will only compound the tense relationship between the Pakistani government and the military. The US stance will only encourage the Indian government to take a more belligerent stand against Pakistan".