July 21, 2005

Musharraf says UK has much to do to counter terror

By David Brunnstrom

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf
said on Thursday that Britain had a lot of work to do to
counter terrorism, and London and Islamabad should not point
fingers at each other over the July 7 London bombings.

In a televised address to the nation, recorded before fresh
blasts in London on Thursday, Musharraf denounced the July 7
bombings and said he did not consider those behind them human.

He also addressed some British anxieties by announcing
steps to rein in militant Islamic schools and organizations
seen as having influenced the bombers.

But he expressed concern about aspersions cast against
Pakistan in some media.

He said that while three of the London bombers may have
been of Pakistani descent, they were born and brought up in
Britain, where extremist Islamist organizations also existed.

He pointed to two -- Hizb ut-Tahrir (Liberation Party) and
al Muhajiroun (The Migrants).

"They had the audacity of passing an edict against my life
and yet they operate with full impunity," he said. "They also
give sermons of hate and anger and violence."

"Therefore I would like to say, there is a lot to be done
by Pakistan internally," he said. "And may I suggest there is a
lot to be done in England also.

"The current strategy to deal with this is to encourage and
support each other rather than speaking against each other and
blaming each other and weakening the overall cause.

"We are together in the fight against terrorism we need to
remain together and fight it together."

He said there were suggestions that the three London
bombers of Pakistani descent had been indoctrinated in Pakistan
but he questioned where the fourth, of Jamaican descent, was

Musharraf's call for action in Britain echoed those of some
British Muslims for police to crack down against radical
Islamist groups who regularly canvas outside mosques and at

Al Muhajiroun was one such group. It was disbanded last
year but its former members are still active. Hizb ut-Tahrir is
a radical Islamist group which has come under scrutiny for
alleged links to the London bombers, a charge it denies.

In his address, which came after security forces detained
nearly 300 militant suspects in a crackdown following the
London bombings, Musharraf said all Islamic schools, or
madrasas, would have to register with authorities by December.

He also said banned militant groups would not be allowed to
re-form under new names or to raise funds, while keeping of
unauthorized arms would be strictly prohibited and action taken
against distribution of literature designed to spread hatred.

"I urge you, my nation, to stand up and wage a jihad
against extremism and to stand up against those who spread
hatred and chaos in the society," he said.