On his first visit to curry favour with the Indians, Britain's still green prime minister, David Cameron left his manners at home and lashed out at Pakistan. The July 28 remarks in Bangalore were not only crude but completely off base when he accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists and exporting it east and west.
July 29, 2010 - 1530 EST
On his first visit to curry favour with the Indians, Britain's still green prime minister, David Cameron left his manners at home and lashed out at Pakistan. The July 28 remarks in Bangalore were not only crude but completely off base when he accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists and exporting it east and west. The remarks delighted his Indian hosts that always take pleasure in denigrating Pakistan whenever they can.
Cameron accused Pakistan of exporting terrorism to India and Afghanistan after signing a 700 million pounds sterling aircraft deal--hardly the kind of activity that would promote peace or fight terrorism--he found it expedient to attack Pakistan.
The reaction from Pakistan was swift and strong but first let us hear what Cameron said about Pakistan while 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 whether to Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world.”
The Pakistani rebuttal came not only from its High Commissioner in London, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, but also officials in Islamabad. Writing on The Guardian’s Web site on July 28 night, the High Commissioner called Cameron’s remarks “completely contrary to the realities on the ground.” He linked them with the recently leaked WikiLeaks documents that have placed all the blame for US military failures in Afghanistan on the shoulders of Pakistan's military, especially its intelligence agency, ISI.
As far as the US and the west are concerned, the ISI is a super agency that has singlehandedly defeated not only the mighty US army but its army of coalition partners including Britain. If the Taliban have beaten the foreign invaders of their country, it is to their credit. Did we not hear in the eighties that that the Afghans had defeated the Soviet Army only because of US supply of Stinger missiles to the mujahideen? The US and its coalition of the willing have all the weapons in the world. Why have they failed to subdue the Taliban?
Since the US-led war of terror, Pakistan has lost 3,000 soldiers and an estimated 9,000 have been wounded. This is far more than the collective losses of all of Nato countries. Why should this be Pakistan's responsibility to fight the US-Nato war?
Besides, Pakistan's economic losses have been astronomical: at least $40 billion to date. Why should a poor country like Pakistan bear the cost of US-Nato war?
Cameron did not have the courage to tell his Indian hosts to stop State terrorism in Kashmir where India maintains a 500,000-strong army of occupation. Since 1989, an estimated 100,000 innocent Kashmiris have been murdered and more than 9,200 Kashmiri women and girls have been gang-raped by the same Indian occupation troops.
Are Kashmiri and Muslim lives any less valuable than a few hundred British or American lives? Besides, if Cameron had any decency, he would have acknowledged that it was Britain that had created the Kashmir problem in the first place when it left India in 1947.
Instead of admitting their own crimes, western officials always find others to blame. This is what Cameron also tried to do after his crude remarks evoked strong reaction. Perhaps, Pakistan should sack the British High Commissioner from Islamabad until London offers an apology. But that would be expecting too much from western puppets like Zardari or Gilani.
Self-respect is not a characteristic of the ruling elite in Pakistan.