Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Saturday, 11 April 2009 21:27 UK

Pakistan pledges UK terror help

Police searching a house
Searches continue at five premises in Manchester and five in Liverpool

Pakistan says it has formally requested information about 11 Pakistanis arrested in north west England in connection with an alleged terror plot.

The head of the Interior Ministry told journalists Islamabad is prepared to help in the investigation but has not yet received any details from the UK.

On Thursday, Gordon Brown said Pakistan had to do more to root out terrorism.

Meanwhile, officers have been granted a further week to question the men as searches continue at 10 premises.

Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said Pakistan has contacted Interpol and written to the Foreign Office requesting details about those arrested, including any evidence that links them to the alleged terror plot.

'Full support'

He said so far London had supplied no information to Pakistan. It could not even verify that the suspects are Pakistani.

If confirmed, Islamabad would extend full support to the investigation and follow up any leads that are arose, he added.

According to BBC correspondent Barbara Plett, both Britain and Pakistan say they have good counter-terrorism cooperation.

Newspapers in Islamabad reported David Miliband called his Pakistani counterpart on Friday and assured him that information coming out of the ongoing probe would be shared soon.

But Mr Malik denied UK newspaper reports that Pakistan had made arrests in connection with the British case.

He said at this stage he could not comment on whether the alleged plot was linked to al-Qaeda.

He also said that if there is solid evidence against the suspects, they should be tried in the UK.

Searches continue

In the UK, an 18-year-old arrested over the alleged terror bomb plot in north-west England has been released into UK Border Agency custody, police said.

Officers have been granted a further week to question the other 11 suspects as searches continue at 10 premises in Manchester and Liverpool.

Ministers rejected claims that border controls were lax, after it emerged 10 of the suspects were on student visas.

After Wednesday's raids, Prime Minister Gordon Brown challenged Pakistan to do more to weed out potential extremists who might target the UK.

Immigration minister Phil Woolas then rejected criticism from Pakistan's High Commissioner, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, who accused the UK of refusing help with background checks.

A Downing Street spokesman has since confirmed that Mr Brown and President Asif Ali Zardari have spoken on the telephone and agreed "the UK and Pakistan share a serious threat from terrorism and violent extremism".

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