"Security concerns” behind withdrawal of British military advisers: Hague

Hague says the British government was keeping a close eye on the activities of the Hizbut Tahrir in Britain.


Imrana Khwaja June 28, 2011

LONDON: The request for withdrawal of eighteen British military advisers from Pakistan had been based on security concerns and was understandable said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. It was a difficult situation, he said, and the withdrawal would not affect the ‘Enhanced Strategic Dialogue’ between the two nations.

The British military advisers were reportedly part of a £15 million programme to train Pakistan’s Frontier Corps which began last August and was scheduled to run until at least summer of 2013.

The British Foreign Secretary was speaking to the press following his recent tour of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Afghanistan visit, he said, reinforced his government’s support for Afghan led reconciliation and he also welcomed the initiatives between Afghanistan and Pakistan in this regard. The framework for greater co-operation between the countries now exists, he said, and we understand that Pakistan can play a great role with regard to reconciliation efforts.

In response to a question regarding the alleged involvement of certain Pakistan army officers with the Hizbut Tahrir, Mr Hague responded that the British government was keeping a close eye on the activities of the Hizbut Tahrir in Britain. However, before banning an organisation the government required sufficient evidence that the ban would be legally sustainable, he said.

Before coming into power the Conservative Party repeatedly called for Hizb to be outlawed and criticised the previous Labour government for failing to introduce a ban. After over a year in government the Tories have also failed to ban the Islamist organisation.

Describing his discussions with Pakistan’s acting foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Mr Hague said that he had reiterated Britain’s commitment to an enhanced relationship with Pakistan which included increased trade and a focus on getting more than 4 million Pakistani children into school. Recognising the huge military effort Pakistan has made in the fight against terrorism he said that “it is like 9/11 every year in Pakistan”. However he said Pakistan needed to “work closer with the US and UK in fighting terrorism”.

COMMENTS (3)

UK Military Man | 10 years ago | Reply Given that our ENTIRE armed force strength is approx 180,000 (smaller than the USMC) and the fact that currently over 3/4 of our armed forces are deployed or are on pre-deployment training in order to support US Foreign Policy, I think we're more than 'pulling our weight', thank you.
Hedgefunder | 10 years ago | Reply Good, time we really stop wasting our hard working taxpayers monies on this bunch of motley double faced liars!!!!
VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read