LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Britain will committ 665 million pounds ($1.08 billion) in aid to help Pakistan stabilise its violent border areas and tackle the underlying causes of extremism, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Friday.
Brown confirmed the funding in a meeting with Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, who emphasised the need to upgrade Pakistan’s capability to fight militants.
Britain has some 9,000 troops fighting the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan and says that three quarters of terrorist plots against it have their roots in the region.
In their meeting, the two leaders discussed efforts to boost economic activity in Pakistan and moves to get more Pakistani goods into European Union markets. The return of illegal immigrants living in Britain and Pakistan’s relations with India were also discussed.
Britain and Pakistan in May pledged closer cooperation on counter-terrorism and economic development.
Britain said it will help Pakistan in the education sector by providing textbooks for school children in the border areas of Pakistan and support 300,000 girls from poor families to attend secondary school.
Britain and the United States have both adopted a new approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan, focusing on tackling al Qaeda and Taliban militants on both sides of the border.
(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Angus MacSwan)