Pakistan snubs Cameron visit: Reports

Published: December 8, 2010
Cameron had said that Pakistan could not "look both ways" in receiving billions of dollars in aid from Western nations while continuing to "promote the export of terror." PHOTO: AFP

Cameron had said that Pakistan could not "look both ways" in receiving billions of dollars in aid from Western nations while continuing to "promote the export of terror." PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempt to mend fragile relations with Pakistan have been dashed after he was snubbed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, UK Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office denied that a visit to to the country had been denied to the British Prime Minister. Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit, while talking to Express 24/7 denied the claims, saying that Cameron is welcome to visit Pakistan.

Cameron wanted to visit the country to try and patch up contact with Pakistan, after he said the country “faced both ways on terror” during a visit to India. He had asked to go to Islamabad, on his way to Afghanistan. But his attempt to invite himself ended in a firm refusal, as Prime Minister Gilani said he did not want to be ‘tagged on’ to a visit to Afghanistan, according to the Daily Mail. Cameron often tries to squeeze several countries into a single foreign visit, as busy PM has to try and deal with the recession and cuts agenda at home.

His last trip to the region ended with Cameron causing great offence, first to Pakistan for casting doubt on its commitment to fighting terror, and second to Israel for criticizing their treatment of Palestinians while he was addressing Turkey.

He tried to arrange the visit a month ago. At press conference in Presidential Palace in Kabul, Cameron failed to repeat his controversial remark that Pakistan faced “both ways on terror.” He hailed Pakistan’s “progress” in clearing up terrorism camps in Swat valley.

Whitehall sources admitted that, “They said timing wasn’t great for them. They were not sure the Prime Minister would be there.”

Cameron also had to sidestep embarrassing questions over Wikileaks files, in which President Karzai had questioned effectiveness of British forces in Helmand province. British PM shrugged off comments as not relevant and referring to a time when British troops were deployed too thinly across the region.

“If you look back to 2006, 2007, 2008, it’s clear now that we didn’t have enough troops in Helmand to deliver the security that was necessary,” Cameron said. “Of course there are frustrations… but relationship between last premier, this prime minister and Hamid Karzai is strong.”

Cameron also raised possibility of troops being withdrawn from early next year. “We are cautiously optimistic we have right strategy. We are now a year or so into that. We have put in resources to back up that strategy which has a very clear focus, a focus on national security.”

Questioned by Afghan media about how Britain could use its influence with Islamabad to stop Islamic schools (madrassas), Cameron said that “we do have a very long term relationship with Pakistan. One of our largest embassies anywhere in the world is in Islamabad.’

President Karzai had to sidestep questions over why he had been disparaging over British troops in WikiLeaks cables. “Britain remained a steadfast supporter of Afghanistan. WikiLeaks documents are having some truths and some not so truths in them. Britain has contributed in its sacrifice of its soldiers… for which Afghan people are grateful.”

Related Videos

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (37)

  • Moazzam Salim
    Dec 8, 2010 - 6:30PM

    oh wow…like our Gillani refused Cameron??? thats amazing stuff….but after seeing this…i dont know why but i am thinking of WWE matches…may be because both this news and the WWE matches have their entertainment value in their overall fakeness ;DRecommend

  • mir liyaqat
    Dec 8, 2010 - 6:31PM

    Good response.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Dec 8, 2010 - 6:39PM

    Embarrassing the Prime Minister of England might be good for the ego – but the people of Pakistan are going to end up paying the price. Dumb move.Recommend

  • Tariq Khan
    Dec 8, 2010 - 6:40PM

    If the PM has snubbed his British counterpart because of his one-sided comments simply to please India during his visit to that country, then its a welcome change in the door-mat diplomatic posture that is usually taken by our Government. Bravo Mr. Gillani! We should send out the signal that Western leaders cannot continue to “hide with the hare while they chase with the hounds” when it comes to terrorism. Chiding Pakistan while visiting India and then coming to Islambad and telling us that we are making progress in the war on terror.

    Our shortcomings aside, we need to be treated with respect if our soliders and civilians are dying in the war on terror. Good move Mr. Gillani.Recommend

  • maryam
    Dec 8, 2010 - 7:14PM

    Good move Mr. Gillani.Recommend

  • Dec 8, 2010 - 7:19PM

    Our leaders are actually foolish. What if Gillani meets Cameron. If some one is offering an opportunity to mend relations then why show such ATTITUDE ?Recommend

  • Henna Khan
    Dec 8, 2010 - 7:29PM

    Even though it appears bit immature but Mr. Cameron had it coming, due to his immature comments in India. I didn’t entirely blame Mr. Cameron for his comments in India because for £700 million he would have even admitted to be an Irish………..
    With as high a post as Mr. Cameron’s, he should be aware of the words such as maturity, sensibility and diplomacy. Recommend

  • Dec 8, 2010 - 7:39PM

    Very good !!! Excellent !!! VIVA and BRAVO Gillani. Keep the flag flying high and pay your taxes, tax the rich and untaxed sectors and dont accept any invitation from UK.

    For a trainer aircraft order of US$ 1.0 billion he ‘shot his mouth off’. This was a deliberate act of insulting us and has not come the first time but was a favorite pastime of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

    Moreover the British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are not getting to feel the rough end of the ‘dunda’ because the Pakistan army has joined the fray. So he should have thought deeply, yes deeply, before shooting off.

    It is sincerely wished and prayed for that we as a nation stop looking westward and now start looking ‘within’ and eastwards.

    Salams and best wishes.Recommend

  • imran khan
    Dec 8, 2010 - 7:57PM

    LoL LoL LoL As if it will make any difference or make us a dignified & respectable sovereign Nation. after the wikileaks drama we should be in no doubt that our whole country from military establishment to politicians and leaders are all subservients of the west and on there payroll and Pakistan is no more than a nation of slaves of its western masters. shame alas if someone has some. LoLRecommend

  • realMuslim
    Dec 8, 2010 - 8:29PM

    If UK starts refusing visas to pakistani,,that will be a good snub by Cameron.Recommend

  • Asim Kaleem
    Dec 8, 2010 - 8:37PM

    if its true …….. I am really feeling bit of a proud to be a Pakistani ……….. as now our leaders care for the malicious and baseless remarks of these so called leaders of the big powers ……… thanks PM (if u did that)Recommend

  • Farhan
    Dec 8, 2010 - 8:41PM

    Pakistan should take his comments seriously and if Gilani has done like this i think he did it rightly. Mr Zardari had met cameron just after his comments in India, it was enough to mend ways with Cameron. Recommend

  • Talha Masood
    Dec 8, 2010 - 8:42PM

    i dont know what is problem with our people….they are not happy in any case….if this wouldn’t have been done….people would have asked for it by-default…..or would have criticized the govt. to welcome the British home……And now when it is done!…people still are calling it a “dumb move” or somthing which doesn’t make a difference.

    Why have we all become devil’s advocates….? what is wrong with us?Recommend

  • Ahsanullah Mehsud
    Dec 8, 2010 - 8:54PM

    An undiplomatic move.Recommend

  • Iqbal Khan
    Dec 8, 2010 - 9:19PM

    What a lie !!!! How can Pakistan with big begging bowl refuse its Masters like US and UK. I call this story good entertainment !!!!!Recommend

  • Prof Manzoor Awan
    Dec 8, 2010 - 9:33PM

    A refreshing piece of news that Pakistan has snubbed Mr Cameron. Our leadership must show spine, preserve self-respect, and never compromise on national interests.Recommend

  • Fuad
    Dec 8, 2010 - 9:44PM

    Mr. Gilani, Now you are talking!! Just stick to your guns and look ’em in the eye. This is just the medicine the doctor ordered. Bring back that Pride which only Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had the courage to show and lead the nation.Recommend

  • @earn
    Dec 8, 2010 - 9:48PM


  • Danish
    Dec 8, 2010 - 9:49PM

    @ Ahsanullah
    What about the undiplomatic moves of the immature British premier???Recommend

  • Usama Zafar
    Dec 8, 2010 - 9:55PM

    Lets wait for wikileaks to expose what actually happened :P
    I doubt Gillani has the courage to decline Cameron’s visit!!Recommend

  • Kittu
    Dec 8, 2010 - 10:46PM

    If this the attitude of Pak Govt..I don’t see any prominent world leader visiting Pakistan.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 8, 2010 - 10:48PM

    Not a smart thing to do when Pakistan is trying to get free goodies and access to the EU.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Dec 8, 2010 - 11:39PM

    Cameron didn’t say anything different than the rest of the World – sticking your head in the sand to ignore the problem or snubbing the PM of England to boost your ego isn’t going to resolve anything nor change Pakistan’s World image. Perhaps the PM of England should cut off visas and prohibit cash transfers from expatriates – that might boost his ego.Recommend

  • True Pakistani
    Dec 9, 2010 - 2:27AM

    i find it hard to believe.Recommend

  • ZZTop
    Dec 9, 2010 - 2:50AM

    Lets see what happens nowRecommend

  • laeeq
    Dec 9, 2010 - 8:43AM

    i am surprised that UK pm has been refused to visit Pkaistan infact it not true bcoz whenever they want to vist pakistan they can they dont have to ask and our leadership from miltary to civilian are on their agenda either its USA ,UK OR EU.Wikileak shows true face of our leadership that how they are dependent on western powers for running affair of this country.TRecommend

  • Arbaz
    Dec 9, 2010 - 10:16AM

    @Anoop: UK does not equal EU fortunately.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 9, 2010 - 11:23AM


    But, its a very important and local member isn’t it. Kinda foolish to do this to a elected representative of one of the biggest economies in the world and a P5 country.

    Anyway, Pakistan is a country which worships a monarch who has insulted a constitutional authority but snubs an democratically elected member who only spoke what is the truth and acknowledged by all who matter and in knowledge of things that matter.Recommend

  • G.Khan
    Dec 9, 2010 - 12:03PM

    Yusuf Raza is on Foreign Power’s payroll. Therefore,, This debate doesn’t make any sense to start with.
    It’s someone else who snubbed. Zardari? Don’t even make me laugh lauder>>>

    This whole regime came through NRO, an illegal agreement challenged and rejected by the SC of Pakistan. If anyone thinks this PAK leadership can snub anyone, I am sorry for them. How cna they snub their own Gaurantor’s of the NRO? FOOD FOR THOUGHT.Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Dec 9, 2010 - 12:15PM

    Relax! Nothing to worry. Only the head-line is mis-leading. Recommend

  • G.Khan
    Dec 9, 2010 - 1:36PM

    Who are you worshiping these days? Is it not Sonia Gandhi: The remains of the Nehru Dynasty and now son is in Politics as well.
    Your nation has been worshipping ONE DYNASTY for the last 63 years. Do not be a Hypocrite. Learn to speak truth at least. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 9, 2010 - 7:46PM


    Well, when I said worship I didnt mean it literally. I am not surprised that you have misunderstood that statement at all. You are hardwired to think that way.

    Nehru and his offsprings have ruled India for a majority of its existence as a Nation-State. Undeniably true. But, they ruled because people voted for them. They didnt use extra constitutional means to come to power. Although I am not loyal to any Political Party in particular you can say that those who have become PM have done a decent job. India is stable and growing and every past leader has can take credit for this.

    India is a country placed in on ocean of instability. Just look at Pakistan. The Army Chief has the gall to say that he will force an elected President out. He would be court martial-ed in India or promptly kicked out if he even dared challenge the government on any issue.

    Kindly tell me what is the “truth” that you are referring to and also point out in which of the comments I’ve used wrong data. Recommend

  • G.Khan
    Dec 10, 2010 - 12:40PM

    @ Anoop
    Listen, I do not think we are on the same page even for the context in which the whole discussion is taking place. I will come to that later but let me ask you a very simple question.”

    Why Indian Voted The Nehru Dynasty for so many years”. ?Dynasty is still in power through voting But why Just Nehru Dynasty? In a Population of a Billion never an Indian was born who could be equal or better than this dynasty members? Is not it a form of Worshipping a Monarcho-democracy? To me it is, You can justify and satisfy yourself through ballot’s argument but it’s still mental submission to a monarch. Same is here to Bhutto Famly case. It was Z,A. Bhutto, who was the Leader. To my surprise even Zardari is inserting the Bhutto name before his Own to His Son’s ( Bilawal Bhutto Zardari) to keep the Dynasty intact. It’s Not that people worship there, people worship here as well. So, this is the truth, no matter with or without ballots. Do not get defenssive when you are critisized. You doesn’t mean You personally.And when you criticise others then be ready to receive criticism as well. People can not spare you only because your are growing at 9% rate. We do critcise very openly here and we are even harsher on our own leaders.

    Secondly, I don’t Know where you are driving your assumptions that we love Military Rule. No, we do not. Now ask me the question ” Why do they come to power then”? Answer is simple. Our Civilian Leadership is twice as corrupt when they come to Power , Impatience with treasury( don’t leave a single penny and zero out the foreign reserves by transfering their Wealth In dollars to Swiss Accounts). When last Benazir’s Govt. was dismissed By then president , Only 7 days foreign exchange reserves were left. There are Swiss Money laundering cases On Zardari. Bottomline, they come and instead of waiting for the hen to lay one Golden egg at a time, they want to rip open her belly and take all at once and run. This is their behavior and they are still busy doing that. This is a different debate as to why these corrupts always come to Power. In some other session we will discuss that. It has to do with Structure of the System, and some other variables as well which are unique in our case.

    It’s a good thing that your growth rate is stable and growing. We have no problem with that. Even in Musharraf time we had a growth rate of 7% . There is no reason that why we could not grow at that rate. There is a war going on in Afghanistan between Americans and Afghans, Just as it happened between Afghans and the Soviets. You are not going through these circumstances. This spill over is coming to us and disturbing our law and order. Govt. & Army siding with US further complicated the situation against people’s will. Protests will continue till Govt changes its stance or US packs up lugguage which they will soon. Recommend

  • Waqas
    Dec 10, 2010 - 2:45PM

    Bravo G. Khan!! Great reply…Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Dec 10, 2010 - 5:59PM


    Thanks for your patient and detailed reply. First time I am hearing from you on positive note.

    I wish your thoughts become true.

    Good Luck and All the Best.Recommend

  • Dec 10, 2010 - 11:35PM

    Few years ago a great indian leader had called Britain a third rate global. He didn’t realize then that Britain had more clout than us, a better living standard than us. Why, we need the Britain to endorse our claim to the permanent seat at the UNSC no matter how third rate a power it might be. The British let the remarks go cause by now most world leaders know that they will get their way and the contracts if they massage the ego of the indian leadership. Cameroon may have wanted to make up with pakistan cause of being stuck in afghanistan and cause of the sizable pakistani vote bank in Britain. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 11, 2010 - 5:48PM


    Why Indian repeatedly voted for the Gandhis? Beats me. But, they did. It might be a combination of local politics, a great regard for Nehru, a great regard for the Congress party(a party that played a role in Indian independence), a strong leader,etc.

    But, my point stands. Indian people voted for them. When Indira Gandhi imposed the emergency the elections after that she lost by a HUGE margin. People with “mental submission” to Indira Gandhi voted her out. They were the same people who voted her in.

    You expect democracy to work in straight lines, to be very logical. Sometimes you just cant predict it.

    Gandhi’s weren’t the only people who have become PMs. Manmohan Singh, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Morarji Desai, Narasimha Rao,etc, have become PMs who are not from the Gandhi Family.

    The only point that should matter is India is growing like never before and it is stable, even though it is situated in an ocean of instability around it.

    “Even in Musharraf time we had a growth rate of 7% .”

    –> Pakistan never touched the figure of 7%. I think I’ve already shown you that.

    Pakistan’s average growth rate hovers around the 5% mark in his time. Considering the IMF and NATO aid you can easily see why Pakistan achieved even that 6% mark. If you factor in high population growth of 2.5% then you can see Pakistan has grown much slower than you think.Recommend

More in Pakistan