London, Apr 12 (ANI): A British minister wants the United Kingdom to distance itself publicly from the American policy of launching attacks on al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists hiding inside Pakistan tribal areas with pilot less drones, to avoid inflaming Pakistani opinion.
Community Cohesion Minister Sadiq Khan said he had listened to the "anger and frustration" of students in Islamabad over US attacks inside Pakistan.
"It's quite clear in many Pakistani eyes that the UK is considered in the same terms as the US. We want to explain that our foreign policy, especially on the issue of drone attacks, is distinct from US foreign policy," The Times quoted Khan, as saying.
Khan's comments came as the full extent emerged of what investigators believe is Pakistan-based control of the alleged al-Qaeda plot to bomb shopping centres in Manchester over Easter.
Rashid Rauf, a fugitive British terrorist identified by MI5 as Al-Qaeda's "director of operations" in Europe, is suspected of planning the bombing as part of a "master plan" for attacks on European cities.
Multiple cells, comprising at least 12 terrorists each, were dispatched last year from Pakistan's tribal areas to conduct a series of atrocities in the UK, France, Belgium and elsewhere, an Al-Qaeda informant has told MI5.
The cells are said to have been acting under the orders of Rauf, 27, from Birmingham, who has previously been linked to the failed suicide attack on London in July 21, 2005.
The plan was set in motion just weeks before a US Predator missile strike targeted Rauf in a remote Pakistani village. Officials are still unclear whether he survived the attack last November. (ANI)