LONDON: An anxious British Government has decided to tell Pakistan that it will have to rein in terror outfits like the LeT and the JuD who have been held responsible for terror attacks in India and elsewhere and that Islamabad would have to do more to reduce threats to the UK and the world from terrorists based on its soil.
This stern message is likely to be conveyed by Prime Minister Theresa May, when she undertakes an official visit to Pakistan sometime in the early part of 2017 and must be seen in the context of the terror strikes launched in the city of Mumbai in the last week of November 2008.
Those series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks by ten terrorists affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which lasted over four days across Mumbai, claimed the lives of 164 people, including one Briton, six Americans and 12 Europeans, and left another 308 injured.
What that horrific tragedy also did was it trained global attention on the activities of the LeT, which till then was focused only on Kashmir.
In the eight years since this terror incident, the LeT’s ambitions and reach have extended to the UK, as is evident from the speeches of its founder Hafiz Saeed, who now openly threatens the destruction of the UK.
London, according to sources, seems unconvinced about Islamabad’s past promises given to then Home Secretary Theresa May of full bilateral cooperation with the UK on counter-terrorism, immigration, serious crimes and narcotics.
There is a view that not much has changed insofar as Islamic extremists spreading their terror mayhem from Pakistan.
In fact, they said, that any honest observer of Pakistan would agree that the situation there has only worsened, with these elements not only increasing their spread and influence within the country but also outside, particularly in the UK.
They claimed that there is no sense of calm within the UK when it comes to grappling with the unsettling face of Islamic extremism within the country.
Prime Minister May, according to these informed sources, is most likely to flag on priority her government’s concerns of LeT fingerprints being discovered in the UK.
British objections to a UN-proscribed terrorist like Hafiz Saeed being allowed by authorities in Pakistan to hold public rallies and openly threaten the destruction of the UK and United States are likely to be aggressively asserted, the sources said.
They also claimed that with the help of British Pakistanis, Pakistan-based terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and its front organisation the Jamat-ut-Dawa, are declared proscribed groups as per the UK Terrorism Act 2000 of the UK.
With them making deep inroads in the country, Prime Minister May can be expected to firmly tell Pakistan to take steps to neutralise these terror elements operating from its soil, or London would be constrained to review engagement with Islamabad.
Source: New Indian Express