November 29, 2009 by USA Post
Gordon Brown today criticised Pakistan’s record on fighting t*rror*sm and called on the country’s political and military leaders to do more to find Osama Bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.
“We’ve got to ask the Pakistan authorities, security services, army and politicians to join us in the major effort that the world is committing resources to, and that is not only to isolate al-Qaida, but to break them in Pakistan,” Brown told the BBC.
The prime minister has given a series of television interviews saying the world needs to refocus on the threat posed by the terror group.
Brown said he believes “we should have been able to do more” to “break” al-Qaida in the years following the 9/11 attacks, as a US Senate report claimed Bin Laden was within reach of US troops in December 2001.
“I believe that after eight years, we should have been able to do more, with all the Pakistani forces working together with the rest of the world, to get to the bottom of where al-Qaida is operating from,” Brown said. “We’ve got to ask ourselves why, eight years after September 11, nobody has been able to spot or detain or get close to Osama bin Laden, nobody’s been able to get close to Zawahiri, the number two in al-Qaida.”
The Senate report says the US knew Bin Laden was hiding in the Tora Bora mountains in eastern Afghanistan three months after the attacks on the World Trade Centre. According to the report, the US had the means to mount a rapid assault with several thousand troops, but instead Bin Laden and bodyguards “walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan’s unregulated tribal area”, where he is still believed to be based.
Brown said last week that Nato was preparing to contribute an extra 5,000 troops to Afghanistan, after he pledged to send nearly 500 more soldiers to the country last month. Barack Obama is expected to announce plans on Tuesday to contribute 34,000 more US troops. The prime minister said Pakistan must match these efforts.
Brown said although there has been “a lot of progress” in taking on the Pakistan Taliban in South Waziristan over recent months, the Islamabad government must do more.
“You know, people are going to ask, eight years after 2001… why is Osama bin Laden never been near to being caught,” he told Sky News. “We believe he is in Pakistan. Why is Zawahiri, who is the number two in control, never been caught? And what can the Pakistan authorities do that is far more effective to help us make sure that the al-Qaida threat is dealt with in Pakistan itself? We will want to see more evidence of Pakistan action not just troops in South Waziristan but the whole of the government machine taking action.”
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