Post-Mumbai, British PM visits India Saturday

December 12th, 2008 - 11:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownNew Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) With ties between India and Pakistan under severe strain in the wake of the Mumbai terror strikes, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrives here Saturday evening to underscore his country’s solidarity with India in the fight against terror and to calm tensions in the region. Brown will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday morning before he flies back to London, government sources told IANS.

During talks between the two leaders, India is likely to share evidence about the complicity of Pakistan-based elements in the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks, the sources added.

Brown’s visit was not planned, but he decided to come in view of the rising tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, the sources said.

Britain shares the US’ view that any confrontation between India and Pakistan will impact the NATO-led offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The situation in Afghanistan will figure prominently in the discussions, the sources added.

Brown will be the second head of state to visit India after the Nov 26 Mumbai terror strikes that killed 179 people, including 26 foreign nationals. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev came on a planned state visit to India last week.

Brown was among the first few leaders to talk to Manmohan Singh after the Mumbai attacks and express his outrage and the need for a “vigorous response” to the incident.

“It is clear that we have got to help the Indian government deal with this terrorist incident,” Brown said in a recent interview.

The two countries will also discuss steps to further strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation between India and Britain.

Britain has already sent a special team of police to assist the Indian authorities in investigating the Mumbai terror attacks.

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