In a stern message to Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, Britain on Sunday asked it to root out terrorism operations from its soil saying “time has come for action and not words” and offered it a comprehensive USD 9 million pact, the largest of its kind ever undertaken by the UK, to combat the problem.
British Premier Gordon Brown, who met President Asif Ali Zardari shortly after flying in from New Delhi, said that three-quarters of major terror plots investigated in the UK had links to Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
“We will work to ensure that everything is done to make sure that terrorists are denied any safe haven in Pakistan. The time has come for action and not words,” Brown told a joint press conference with President Asif Ali Zardari.
“The President has assured me that he is taking further action to clamp down on terrorists suspected of involvement in Mumbai (attacks),” said Brown.
Zardari renewed his offer to cooperate with India and said Pakistan had proposed formation of a joint investigation team.
He said he had learnt from media reports, and “not directly from (the Indian) government”, that India still had not completed its investigation into the Mumbai attacks.
Zardari said that his government was willing to help “in all ways possible” so that the Indian government could unmask those involved in the Mumbai attacks. He, however, did not agree with one journalist who said that his efforts to cooperate with the Indian government had led to a more aggressive stance from New Delhi. “I am not appeasing anyone. I am a personal victim of terrorism and I can understand the pain of the Indian side. We will work with them,” he commented.
The British premier proposed a new counter-terrorism pact with Pakistan, saying he wanted to expand the counter-terrorism assistance programme with Pakistan to make it the “most comprehensive programme Britain has signed with any country”.
The new proposals include a $ 9 million programme to tackle the “causes of radicalisation and to strengthen the democratic institutions of Pakistan”.
Soon after the meeting Zardari told the media that Pakistan had arrested key leaders of the LeT. But he added his government would not hand over any suspects to India, saying New Delhi has not yet provided any evidence implicating Pakistanis in the attacks.