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Blair, Musharraf Pledge Cooperation in War on Terror


The leaders of Pakistan and Britain say their countries will work more closely in the war against terrorism.

Speaking at a news conference in the eastern city of Lahore, Pakistan Sunday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf pledged to support moderates in the fight against extremism.

As part of their cooperation, Britain will more than double its development aid to Pakistan.

Much of the increased spending will go toward promoting moderate teaching in Pakistan's Islamic schools.

The two leaders also agreed to bolster cooperation on counter-terrorism with a new working agreement between their interior ministries and intelligence services.

General Musharraf agreed that more could be done to prevent extremists in Pakistan from aiding the Taleban in Afghanistan.

Mr. Blair's trip follows a warning from the head of Britain's domestic spy agency that agents are tracking some 30 active terrorism plots and 200 extremist cells involving about 16-hundred individuals.

There are concerns about the links between Pakistan and young British Muslim radicals. Three of the four suicide bombers that attacked London's transit system last year were Britons of Pakistani origin. The attacks killed 52 people.

Earlier this year, British police said they thwarted a plot to blow up U.S.-bound passenger jets over the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the suspects arrested in that case are believed to be of Pakistani origin. Britain praised Islamabad for its role in uncovering the terrorist plot.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.