Home India News PM to Brown: We will cooperate, but avoid labelling

PM to Brown: We will cooperate, but avoid labelling


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday offered all possible cooperation to Britain in investigating the foiled terror plot, but cautioned his British counterpart Gordon Brown against "labelling" people by nationality or religion and drawing hasty conclusions about the guilt of Indian suspects.

In an interaction with women journalists at his residence, Manmohan Singh said that he had spoken to Brown Wednesday about the foiled terror attacks in London and Glasgow over the weekend.

The prime minister refused to divulge give details of his conversation with Brown.

But when asked whether he believed that the three Indians who have been questioned about their links to the UK terror plot were innocent or guilty, he said it was "too hasty and too premature" to draw any kind of conclusion.

In an emotional tone, the prime minister said that that he could not sleep Wednesday night after watching the mothers of the two men speak on TV channels.

In this context, he recalled what it was like being a Sikh at a time when every ordinary Sikh in India was labelled a terrorist in the 1980s, and warned against any labelling or branding of a country, religion or people. Terrorism has no religion or nationality.

Manmohan Singh stressed that such labelling can create a sense of alienation within the Muslim community.

Asked whether the claim that no Indian Muslim had links with the Al Qaeda now was in danger of being discredited, the prime minister said that to "label either Indians or Pakistanis or anyone a terrorist by their nationality" was something he did not agree with.

Two Indian doctors – Mohammed Haneef and Sabeel Ahmed – have been detained in connection with the June 30 attack when a burning green jeep loaded with gas cylinders crashed into the doors of Glasgow airport.

At least one Indian has been arrested in Britain and another in Australia.