Dec 15, 2008

World - Pakistan;Time for action,not words

Nirupama Subramanian

ISLAMABAD: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday delivered the bluntest public message yet from the international community to Pakistan, asking it to clean out terrorists operating from its territory in order to make the world a more secure place.

“The time has come for action, not words,” Mr. Brown said at a joint press conference with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

He said that a majority of terror plots investigated by the British had a Pakistan link.

“I have told President Zardari that three-quarters of the most serious terror plots investigated by British authorities have links to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan,” Mr. Brown said.

He said he had been reassured after his talks with the Pakistan President that “his authorities are determined to act against those who were behind the Mumbai attacks.”

Three of the victims of the Mumbai attacks were British nationals, and there were many others from around the world.

“We all have an interest in discovering what lay behind the Mumbai outrage,” he said.

He said he had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh if British investigators could be allowed to interrogate the surviving gunman, Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab,’ now in the custody of Mumbai police.

Mr. Brown said British sleuths would likewise want to question, “if it were to be the case,” suspects in Pakistan. But it was now up to the two leaders to decide if they would allow this.

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