London, Jan 29: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has reportedly revealed that his government's policy in supporting India's candidature for a UN Security Council seat, is part of the country's longstanding policy.
"It is not a country-specific policy, but our longstanding policy," the Dawn quoted Brown, as saying. Commenting on the Kashmir issue, Brown said he was happy to see the progress being made on the front and the reduction in militancy there. According to the paper, Brown also told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that his government would consider giving development-related aid to Islamabad provided the forthcoming February 18 elections being held in a free, fair and transparent manner and visible progress is seen towards ushering a democratic system of governance.
Brown's reply came in response to a question on whether Britain would enhance its economic assistance to Pakistan and also provide Pakistan with enhanced access to its market in view of the worldwide recognition that the root cause of growing extremism in Pakistan and other poor Muslim countries was their poverty.
Musharraf said he had fruitful talks with Brown and was thankful for Britain's enhanced economic cooperation with Pakistan and its enhanced assistance in the social sectors.
He said he had also briefed Brown on the scenario he believed would unfold beyond the February 18 election and how the peaceful transition would take place followed by the setting up of a strong democratic government.
Answering a question, the president said the Taliban and al Qaeda menace cannot be controlled in a matter of five days.
"It is going to take a long time and we have a long fight on our hands but so far we are winning the war," the paper quoted Musharraf, as saying.
When the president arrived at the 10 Downing, he was greeted by 1,000 to 1,500 flag waving and slogan chanting protesters who were shouting "Go Musharraf Go."
The crowd was waving flags of the PPP, PML-N and Tehrik-i-Insaaf and was being led by Asma Jehangir of the HRCP, PPP's local leaders and a delegation of the PPP sent from Pakistan by PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari to organise protests. The delegation included Chaudhry Abdul Majid, Chaudhry Yaseen and Chaudhry Latif. Ghous Ali Shah of PML-N, Imran Khan of PTI, his former wife Jemima Khan and Lord Nazir Ahmed were also there with strong presence of their supporters.
Some 50 workers of PML-Q were also waving pictures of President Musharraf and shouting slogans of 'We support Musharraf'.