British PM insists no regrets over comments

Published: August 3, 2010
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that he did not regret his comments about Pakistan supporting terrorism. PHOTO: AFP

British Prime Minister David Cameron said that he did not regret his comments about Pakistan supporting terrorism. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted Tuesday he did not regret his comments about allegations of Pakistani support for terrorists.

Cameron said he had given a “pretty clear and frank answer” to a straight question while visiting India last week. “I don’t regret that at all,” he told BBC radio.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is due to arrive in Britain for a five-day visit later Tuesday. He is due for talks with Cameron on Friday.

“The key thing is to build on the relationships we have,” Cameron said. “It’s a relationship that I’m convinced can survive speaking frankly about our problems.”

He said there were terrorist groups in Pakistan that “threaten innocent people the world over”, adding that Islamabad had done “extraordinary things to try and close them down”, but needed to do more.

Cameron’s original comments on Pakistan and terrorism were made Wednesday in Bangalore.

“We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country (Pakistan) is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world,” he said.

Pakistani British lawmakers slam Zardari’s visit

British lawmakers of Pakistani origin hit out at President Zardari the same day, saying he should be back home sorting out the flooding disaster rather than launching his son’s career.

“I’m not going to meet with the president because I believe that a head of state needs to be in his country of origin when there’s a state of emergency,” Lord Nazir Ahmed told AFP.

“For him to spend tens of thousands of pounds on the launch of his son’s political career at a time when his country needs him shows that he’s out of touch and his advisors are ill-informed,” he said.

“Quite frankly, staying in five-star hotels with his huge entourage, tens of big cars that have been hired just to give him this protocol in London, it’s quite outrageous.”

Ahmed, from the opposition Labour Party, has pulled out of Thursday’s lunch event at a London hotel.

“I would rather the money should go to the flood victims than wasting money on a five-star lunch. I could have easily met him at the high commission for a cup of tea,” the Pakistan-born peer said.

Fellow Labour lawmaker Khalid Mahmood has also turned down his invite, insisting Zardari should be in Pakistan rather than visiting Britain for political reasons.

“The issue is the huge environmental catastrophe that’s going on, a lot of people are dying there,” he said.

“No matter what he can do or can’t do, he should be there to try to support the people, not swanning around in the UK and France.”

A spokesman for Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet minister, told AFP she will be attending the meeting.

Qassim Afzal, a senior Lib Dem politician of Pakistan origin, said he would attend the meeting, even if “British Pakistanis themselves feel that at this moment in time he should have stayed in Pakistan.”

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (8)

  • Ali Haider
    Aug 3, 2010 - 6:56PM

    This is not a relationship! I am sure the Prime Minister is aware that if you put an allegation on the other party, the relationship is over. That is, if there ‘is’ a relationship!Recommend

  • Aug 3, 2010 - 7:04PM

    Mr. Cameroon has simply stated the ground reality. Why he be feeling over speaking truth. Is it not an open secret that PAK is playing double in TALIBAN issue? Its for all eyes to see. Eliminate any TALIBAN who take on PAK ARMY and let those TALIBAN operate who are doing jihad in AFGHANISTAN.
    Salim safi has done an excellent analysis on this here:

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Aug 3, 2010 - 8:42PM

    The British Prime Minister never wanted to say what he has siad. It was slip of his tounge.

    He cannot take his words back as his answer to the tricky question has now become an official record.

    This is why elderly people say that: you have to weigh your words first before you speak.Recommend

  • Ghulam shabbir
    Aug 3, 2010 - 11:32PM

    He has lost his senses.West is loosing battle in Afghanistan so they want to find a way out by blaming Pakistan.Pakistan had offered them to mine the Pak-Afghan border so no one could enter without checking why they rejected our offer?For us Pakistan comes first!Recommend

  • Jawad Rana
    Aug 4, 2010 - 12:11AM

    The problem is not whether he spoke the truth. In statecraft and international relationships, speaking SELECTIVE truth can be a problem too. And on top of that, what makes it worse is speaking it in a third country which itself has a questionable history of human rights and interfering with its neighbors. I remember a few years ago, India and UK were in a similar fracas, where they called each other third rate powers etc. So, we should not grieve too much – nothing is permanent in this game.Recommend

  • Amna Zaman
    Aug 4, 2010 - 12:19PM

    Should not in any case hinder the morale of our country men who are ready to fight terrorism till the end, such comments do not shake our confidence.Recommend

  • Eraj danish
    Aug 4, 2010 - 12:21PM

    A publicity stunt by this individual and that’s all. The entire world knows Pakistan is against terrorism and has lost more than anyone else in this war.Recommend

  • Mansoor Khalid
    Aug 5, 2010 - 5:26PM

    I believe actions of one person should not shadow the collaborative efforts of international community in this war on terror.Recommend

More in Pakistan