British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has asked Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to root out terrorism from its soil. This comes after the UK police arrested a dozen Al-Qaeda suspects, including 11 Pakistanis, over a “very big” terrorist plot.
Brown in a telephonic conversation with Zardari, has reportedly asked him to help stop terrorists from Pakistan coming to Britain. Earlier he told the media that the alleged plot to carry out bombing on Easter in Manchester shopping area was “very big” and investigators were looking at links with Pakistan.
“We know that there are links between terrorists in Britain and Pakistan. One of the lessons we have learned from the past few years is that Pakistan has to do more to root out terrorist elements in its country,” Brown said. Adding, “That is an important issue for us to follow through and that’s why I will be talking to President Zardari about what Pakistan can do to help us.”
Brown is apparently exasperated that the alleged ‘Easter Spectacular’ of coordinated bomb attacks was also plotted by 11 Pakistanis, most of who were here on student visas.
Meanwhile, a diplomatic row has erupted between the two countries, as Pakistan flayed Britain’s immigration system after it emerged that the majority of those arrested entered the country on student visas. Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK said Britain was not doing enough to prevent bogus applications for foreign student status.
With PTI inputs