Pakistan spy chief scraps UK trip on “terror” remarks
Prime Minister David Cameron cause a stir when he made his terrorist remarks while speaking in India on Wednesday, so now Pakistan’s spy chief has now cancelled a trip to the UK> The ISI agency said on Saturday that senior intelligence officials, including ISI head Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, would not go to London on Monday as planned for counter-terrorism talks.
But the trip for President Asif Ali Zardari will go on as planned. Cameron said that Islamabad mustn’t become a base for militants and “promote the export of terror” across the globe. This comment saddened the country of Pakistan.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, already in Britain ahead of Cameron’s remarks, said the British prime minister’s remarks were “contrary to the facts” and “not in good taste.”
Pakistan’s help is much needed by the U.S. and Western efforts to stabilize neighboring Afghanistan. Cameron’s remarks came shortly after classified U.S. military reports published on the WikiLeaks website detailed concerns that the ISI had aided the Taliban while Pakistan’s government was taking billions of dollars in U.S. aid. On a recent trip to Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she believed al Qaeda was still hiding in Pakistan, and that the Pakistani government knew where they were. So it’s no wonder that Cameron’s remarks further irritated officials in Pakistan. Meanwhile Pakistan has started a major offensive against al Qaeda and the Taliban in its northwestern provinces bordering Afghanistan.
India accuses Pakistan of supporting militants operating on its soil and peace talks between the two countries have been deadlocked since 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
Cameron, asked by British broadcasters whether he regretted damaging relations with Pakistan ahead of the meeting, he said: “I don’t accept that they have been damaged … I look forward to discussing these and other issues (with Zardari).” Reuters