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Pakistan tells UK not to `pass the buck` on terror

Last Updated: Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 15:43

London: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that Britain should not "pass the buck" by blaming Islamabad for all its home-grown terror plots.

Qureshi told a newspaper that Pakistan can help the West in tackling extremist groups but urged it to be "more sensitive" about the political difficulties Islamabad faces in maintaining domestic support for the fight.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that three-quarters of terror plots in Britain come from the mountain areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Most recently, intelligence services said a plot by three British Muslims to blow up at least seven transatlantic aircraft using liquid bombs was masterminded in Pakistan.

"It is easy to pass the buck," Qureshi said, "but [the liquid bomb plotters] were British citizens. They went to school here, they are part of the British system, they live here.

"If they do something extraordinary is it fair that Pakistan should be blamed?"

He said the Pakistani government under President Asif Ali Zardari had made strong gains in the struggle to defeat extremist groups, and urged greater international recognition of this.

"We need to recognise the change that has come about in Pakistan," he said.

"The problems we have are not solely of our creation. The rest of the world helped to create this menace; now we are saying, `Help us to eradicate this menace, this evil`.

"If we are allies and friends we have got to work together. We need each other`s co-operation but I do think we have to be more sensitive."

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 15:43

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