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Britain's Blair in Pakistan for Security Talks - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Pakistan on Saturday for talks with President Pervez Musharraf on how to defeat a resurgent Taliban, pool counter-terrorist intelligence and tackle militancy in Pakistan’s religious schools.

Blair’s spokesman said Britain and Pakistan would set up a joint working group between their interior ministries to promote closer links between their intelligence services.

Briton will also double its development aid, spending more on education in Pakistan’s moderate Muslim schools to counter Islamic extremism, he said.

“President Musharraf talks about ‘enlightened moderation’, we are supporting (that policy),” the spokesman said.

Blair’s visit comes as about 5,000 British troops are in Afghanistan, part of a 31,000-strong NATO force, battling a revitalised Taliban insurgency.

A total of 41 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001 — 36 of them this year — amid criticism the force is under strength and lacking enough armoured vehicles and helicopters.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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