Pakistan asks for intelligence sharing

Published: October 26, 2010
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Gilani meets May at the PM House. PHOTO: AFP

Gilani meets May at the PM House. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said it is “creating mechanisms and drawing parameters” to upgrade cooperation with British intelligence and security outfits to foil al Qaeda plots in Europe.

At a meeting with British Home Secretary Theresa May on Monday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani stressed that Britain should share “information and real-time intelligence” with Pakistani counter-terror operators.

According to the official handout, Gilani said such cooperation would “enable Pakistani authorities to take pre-emptive measures against any possible threat to the UK and other Western countries from terrorists”.

At a separate meeting with May, President Asif Ali Zardari said Pakistan and the UK have a common enemy and share the common aim to neutralise the threat posed by extremist elements.

It was expected that May would share the intelligence findings with Pakistani leadership. According to media reports from London, May has a list of at least two dozen Britons of either Afghan or Pakistani origin being trained by Harkat Jihad-e-Islami led by militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri in North Waziristan. However, a person who attended Zardari’s meeting with May told The Express Tribune that no such information was shared as the meeting took place in the presence of delegations from both sides.

Officials said May would share the information with Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday.

Ready to welcome Cameron

Gilani told May that he was looking forward to receiving his British counterpart David Cameron in Islamabad in December.

The handout released by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat said both countries would formally re-launch the strategic dialogue and expressed hope that Cameron’s visit would lead to a new impetus to cooperation in areas of finance, industry, defence, security, agriculture and culture.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2010.

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