British PM Brown to press Pakistan on terror fight
By PAISLEY DODDS,Associated Press Writer AP - 2 hours 7 minutes ago
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had a clear message to deliver to Pakistan's president on a visit here Sunday: The Muslim nation must root out terrorists following the attacks in India that killed more than 160 people.
Brown, who arrived in the Pakistani capital after having breakfast with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, was also seeking to calm Indian-Pakistani tensions in the wake of last month's attacks in Mumbai.
The British leader backed Indian claims that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist group was behind the attacks and called on Islamabad to crack down on militants in its midst.
"We also know that the group responsible (for the Mumbai attacks) is LET, and they have a great deal to answer for," Brown said ahead of his scheduled meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
Britain is expected to send investigators to India to interview the sole gunman captured following the attacks, said a British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to sensitivity of the subject. Victims of the assault included a British citizen and two other people with dual Indian-British nationality.
Brown said earlier in the day that he had visited India to give his condolences to "the prime minister and the whole of the Indian people at the terrible terrorist outrage in Mumbai that has stunned the whole world."
According to India, the 10 gunmen were from Pakistan, as were the handlers, masterminds, weapons, training camps and financing. Pakistan has carried out raids on a charity believed to be linked to Lashkar, but called on India to provide further evidence.
India finds itself in the awkward position of having to investigate terrorist attacks hand-in-hand with its longtime nemesis. The two countries have fought three wars against each other since independence from Britain in 1947.
Despite a peace process that began in 2004, tensions remain high.
Britain's shared history with the subcontinent has been bolstered by recent terror activity. Britons with family ties to Pakistan, India and Kashmir have been involved in a host of attempted terrorist attacks in Britain since 2001.
Three of four British-born men who carried out the 2005 suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters had family ties to Pakistan.
Indian-born Dhiren Barot was jailed in Britain in 2006 over plots to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, other U.S. financial targets and landmark London hotels. Barot, who was raised in the U.K. and regarded by British intelligence as a key al-Qaida figure, traveled to Kashmir in 1995 to fight against Indian forces.
The ongoing dispute over Kashmir has emerged as a recurrent theme in the radicalization of young British Muslims, commonly cited as a justification for their attacks.
Britain is home to some 2 million Muslims but has a large Kashmiri population, many of whom identify themselves as Pakistanis.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where many people favor independence from India or a merger with Pakistan. The region is divided between the two countries and both claim it in its entirety.
Militant separatist groups have been fighting since 1989 to end Indian rule. The uprising and a subsequent Indian crackdown have killed about 68,000 people, most of them civilians.
Brown arrived in India following a surprise visit to Afghanistan where he met with British soldiers and hinted Britain would provide more troops. Visiting troops in volatile Helmand province, Brown said Europe's streets were safer because of the fight in Afghanistan.
Brown is leading a review of the U.K.'s strategy in Afghanistan and an announcement on troop deployment is expected in Parliament this week. American leaders say thousands of incoming U.S. troops will be sent to reinforce British forces in the restive south.
Britain has some 8,200 troops in Afghanistan. More than 130 British soldiers have died there since 2001.
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