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British PM ready to persuade Pak to focus more on terrorists

world Updated: May 21, 2009 13:07 IST
HS Rao
HS Rao
PTI
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Describing the restive tribal areas of Pakistan as "crucible of terrorism", British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told India that he is ready to play a role in "persuading" Islamabad to focus more on the terrorist issues within its own borders.

Congratulating Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his re-election, Brown said, "I hope I can play my part in persuading Pakistan to focus more on the terrorist issues within its own borders."

"I know that there will be general support for what I've called a regional strategy, where we deal with the crucible of terrorism, which is the south of Afghanistan and those parts of Pakistan that are controlled by, or are in the hands of, the Pakistan Taliban and al-Qaeda. So I believe we can make progress over the next period of time," he said.

"I recognise that India's difficulties arise from the Mumbai bombing and what that has done, and the action that has got to be taken as a result of that. I hope we can have better and more secure relationships between India and Pakistan," the British premier said in a statement.

Describing Singh as a "very good friend", Brown said, "I want to welcome and congratulate Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who is now re-elected as Prime Minister."

"He's done a huge amount of work, not only in India but around the world, in promoting economic growth and the relief of poverty," he added.