Pakistan summons British envoy

FO summoned Britain’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson over British PM's allegation in India.


Sohail Chaudhry August 03, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office summoned Britain’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson on Monday over British Prime Minister David Cameron’s allegation in India that Pakistan is “exporting terror”.

The responsibility of terrorism cannot be put on one country, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a meeting with the Thomson at the Foreign Office.

During the meeting, the British high commissioner explained the context in which the remarks were made, adding that the UK is looking forward to further strengthening its strategic relations with Pakistan.

However, spokesperson for Prime Minister Cameron, said that the PM “stands by his comments” and said that the British premier had not been referring to the Pakistani government supporting terrorism. “He was referring to elements within Pakistan supporting terrorism, not the Pakistani government,” she clarified. She also added that Cameron had acknowledged that Pakistan was “taking action against extremism.”

“The Pakistanis face very big challenges, that is well known and the prime minister is looking forward to discussing those with President Zardari on Friday,” she added.

In the meeting, it was also underlined that the meeting between President Zardari and Prime Minister Cameron would provide a useful opportunity to understand each other’s viewpoint on issues of mutual concern, as well as take the bilateral relationship forward.

Meanwhile, The Express Tribune has learnt that the Foreign Office has also handed over a letter to Thomson that states the government’s concerns on Cameron’s remarks.

The letter reads that the British PM depicted one side of the facts and he ought to review his statement. The Foreign Office has also urged the British government to understand the sacrifice rendered by Pakistan and support Pakistan’s efforts to abolish terrorism.

Meanwhile Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira while speaking BBC said: “I think this is very unfortunate” but insisted it would not threaten the visit. “No, (the) president is not following this policy, he has a policy of interaction with the world,” he said. “We want to expand our relationship... but such remarks (are) a real problem for the government of Pakistan and our society.”

In a statement, foreign spokesperson Abdul Basit said that President Asif Ali Zardari will visit the United Kingdom from August 3 to 8.

During his stay there, he will meet Cameron and Pakistani members of the parliament, Basit said, adding that the President would be received by Prime Minister Cameron at Chequers.

The president’s visit comes after immense domestic pressure from political parties who demanded that he should cancel his talks with Cameron.

Cameron’s statements had also been criticised in the UK. The shadow foreign secretary, David Miliband, compared Cameron’s diplomatic style to “a cuttlefish squirting out ink”.

“Mr Cameron has used the last two weeks to make a verbal splash on foreign policy. Like a cuttlefish squirting out ink his words were copious and created a mess,” UK based newspaper The Guardian quoted Miliband as saying. WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP AND NEWS DESK

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2010.

t-siz 5t��f h ght:115%;font-family: "FedraSerifA Book";mso-bidi-font-family:"FedraSerifA Book";letter-spacing:-.2pt'>Senator Pervez Rasheed of the PML-N demanded President Zardari call off his scheduled visit to the UK. “If the president goes to the UK, it will be tantamount to Pakistan’s endorsing the statement of the British prime minister who has accused Pakistan of “promoting the export of terror.”

The Senate will meet again on Tuesday morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2010.

COMMENTS (1)

Ali Haider | 11 years ago | Reply Why do our retaliative comments always come two days after the fact? Are we dumb or what?
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