December 14, 2008 9:01:06 am
International pressure mounted on Islamabad after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, echoing the Indian position that the Lashkar-e-Toiba was involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, told Pakistan “time has come for action and not words” and that it has a “great deal to answer for”. He said he had requested India and Pakistan that the British police be allowed to quiz the lone surviving gunman as well as the suspects in Pakistani custody.
Making an unscheduled visit to New Delhi and Islamabad on Sunday, Brown, who held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, said: “I asked Prime Minister Singh this morning if you would allow the British police, if they chose to do so, to interview the person arrested (Ajmal Amir Kasab) as one of the suspects for organising and participating in the Mumbai outrage.”
“And I have similarly asked President Zardari if it were to be the case if the British police wanted to interview people who are suspected within his own country whether he would be prepared to allow that, whether his police authorities would be prepared to allow that and it is a matter I left with Prime Minister Singh and President Zardari,” Brown told reporters in Islamabad at a joint news conference with Zardari.
He turned the heat on Islamabad, saying “three-fourth of major terror plots investigated in the UK had links to al-Qaeda in Pakistan.”
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This came hours after he said in New Delhi that the world community should come together so that there were “no safe havens for terrorists” and “no safe place for those who finance terrorist activities”.
“We also know that the group responsible is LeT and they (Pakistan) have a great deal to answer for,” he said after a breakfast meeting with Singh.
In Islamabad, Brown proposed $9 million in assistance, saying Britain aimed to break “the chain of terror that links the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the streets of the UK and other countries around the world.”
Zardari indicated he would prefer to wait till New Delhi shared the findings of its probe into the Mumbai attacks with Islamabad.
“I am hoping that once the Indian government completes the investigation and shares the information with us, we will have further leads to find if there are any culprits on this side of the border. We shall take action against them,” Zardari said.
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