Pakistan helped 'thwart UK poll attack'

Pakistan's interior minister has said that an attack was thwarted in Britain before the May general elections because of help from his country.

    Aftab Khan Sherpao says Pakistan is working with the UK

    Interior minister, Aftab Khan Sherpao, said at a news conference: "Before the general elections in UK we had received reports that this sort of situation may arise before the elections, and that was aborted because of the information provided by the government of Pakistan."

    "Arrests were made in various countries. Here also."

    When called later to clarify his remarks, Sherpao told The Associated Press that "Pakistan gave information to the UK about terrorist activity".

    Asked whether the information prevented an attack on British soil, Sherpao said: "Yes, this is so." He refused to go into specifics, saying it would be inappropriate.

    Sherpao's comments come in the wake of revelations that British citizens of Pakistani origin were allegedly involved in last week's London bombimgs.

    He said Pakistan was fully cooperating with Britain in the current investigation.

    "Whatever information, I don't want to be specific in this case because that would not be proper at this juncture, but whatever useful information that we have we will be providing to the British government," he said.

    British raids

    Meanwhile, British police raided six homes in Leeds on Tuesday, searching for explosives and computer files that might shed more light on the bombings.

    "Whatever information, I don't want to be specific in this case because that would not be proper at this juncture, but whatever useful information that we have we will be providing to the British government"

    Aftab Khan Sherpao,
    Pakistan's interior minister

    They arrested a man, identified by the British news agency Press Association as a relative of one of the suspected bombers.

    A town councilor told The Associated Press that at least three of the suspects were British citizens of Pakistani ancestry.

    In his news conference, Sherpao stressed the contribution Pakistan has made in he referred to as "the war on terror," saying it had conducted 53 operations in the tribal Waziristan region, along the border with Afghanistan, and that it had arrested hundreds of suspects since the 11 September 2001.

    "It doesn't mean that all terrorists have been eliminated. They are working in pockets, have different masterminds and this will be a continuous process, a sustained process until we eliminate terrorism from this country in all its forms and manifestations," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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