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LeT terrorists aren't going to drive taxis: British MP

"Will Laskhar-e-Taiba then go back to driving taxis? Of course they won't. They have tasted violence".

world Updated: Jan 16, 2009 12:20 IST

Lakshar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan based terror group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, will not give up terrorism if the Kashmir problem were to be solved on tomorrow, a senior British MP said on Friday.

"Will Laskhar-e-Taiba then go back to driving taxis? Of course they won't. They have tasted violence," said Stephen Pound of the ruling Labour Party.

Pound, former chairman of Labour Friends of India, a parliamentary lobby, was speaking after British Foreign Secretary on Thursday upset New Delhi by claiming India needed to resolve the Kashmir dispute in order to combat LeT.

Miliband made his comments while criticising the War on Terror, saying "the best antidote to the terrorist threat in the long term is cooperation."

In an interview later on Thursday on BBC Radio, the British minister gave the example of how governments in Britain were able to keep discussions going with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) through the insurgency in Northern Ireland.

But Pound, who was a member of a parliamentary select committee on Northern Ireland during the province's trouble years, said there were important differences that should be kept in mind.

"We must remember that the Provisional IRA had a political wing, specifically for political negotiations. They talked to you," Pound told IANS.
"India is much closer to the Line of Control that we (Britain) are. Kargil happened not too long ago. If I were the Indian minister of defence, I'd want other countries to keep quiet about the subject."

The British MP, who was in India this week, said an offer by the Pakistan leadership to share intelligence with New Delhi would have been more "impressive' had it come from the country's spy agency.

"The overwhelming source of information about terrorists in Pakistan is the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The government of Pakistani saying it [making the offer] is not as impressive as the director of ISI saying it," Pound said.