UK ‘committed to back Pak military in terror war’

Theresa May arrived in Islamabad for talks with Pakistan`s top leadership.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2011, 20:42 PM IST

Islamabad: Britain today said it was
committed to backing Pakistan`s military and police in the war
on terrorism, as the two countries expressed their resolve to
tackle the "shared challenge" of extremism.

"Our intensive diplomatic efforts, bilaterally,
multilaterally, and in concert with key partners, are
complemented by a growing programme of counter-terrorism
liaison," said a joint statement issued after talks between
Interior Minister Rehman Malik and his visiting British
counterpart Theresa May.

This includes the UK`s support to Pakistani military and
policing, "and supporting the development of strong
institutions and machinery of government," it said, adding the
two countries "reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the
shared challenge of extremism".

The statement further said that it was in the interest of
both countries to "sustain a broad-based strategic
relationship" based on mutual respect, trust and benefit.

The two sides stressed their commitment for cooperating
on shared interests, including trade, economic stability and
development, cultural cooperation, security, tackling illegal
immigration and education.

May arrived in Islamabad today for talks with Pakistan`s
top leadership to take forward an "Enhanced Strategic
Dialogue" that was launched in April.

She said Britain would stand with Pakistan to combat
terrorism and reaffirmed Prime Minister David Cameron`s
comment earlier this year that "Pakistan`s enemy is our
enemy".

May welcomed Pakistan government`s "zero tolerance
approach to illegal migration" and said Islamabad is "doing
much to disrupt the work of those agents who are abusing the
trust of individuals by promising them a new life in the
United Kingdom that they cannot deliver".

Both countries agreed to monitor new initiatives against
illegal migration through a Migration Joint Working Group that
will focus on visa operations, human trafficking, border
control and migration policy.

May and Malik discussed efforts to protect passengers
flying between Britain and Pakistan.

The British side said it is committed to helping Pakistan
meet new EU aviation security regulations to be implemented
next year and will gift 18 explosive trace detectors.

"We also share a powerful interest in fighting the
extremism and terrorism that threatens people in both
countries... I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm the
UK`s commitment to your fight against extremism," May said.

PTI