Saturday, 7 August 2010

Huge slice of Pakistani Humble Pie for David Cameron

Didn’t I say that David Cameron had gone off message in his recent spat with Pakistan? Now he has described the relationship between the UK and Pakistan as “unbreakable”. Not the terrorist merchants we were led to believe then? Didn’t I also say that a heavey duty amount of back pedalling and watering down would be necessary to restore the equilibrium between the USA and their junior partners? I hate to say I told you so but.....

Yesterday, after his first meeting with Pakistan’s president since his comments provoked outrage, the Prime Minister also praised the sacrifices the Islamic Republic had made fighting extremism.

Mr Cameron appeared keen to downplay the diplomatic tensions that surrounded the meeting, at his official country estate of Chequers. President Asif Ali Zardari had previously stated that he would use the visit to challenge Mr Cameron over his claims. The President is also in hot water at home for being out of the country during a national emergency on a lavish foreign trip. But what a golden opportunity for Zardari, he’s got DC over a barrel so a perfect time to whizz over and get something. I wonder what it is? No doubt all will be revealed in due course.

DC’s unfortunate remarks in a question and answer session were seen as particularly explosive because they were made on a trip to India, with whom Pakistan has long had a difficult relationship (to say the least) and of course the two are nuclear rivals.

As well as exporting terrorism, Cameron had accused Pakistan of “looking both ways” on the issue. Almost as good as New Labour’s “ethical” foreign policy aint it?

The PM had been speaking days after official US documents released on the WikiLeaks website alleged that Pakistani security forces were colluding with the Taliban on Afghanistan. But Pakistan furiously denied the claims and accused the Prime Minister of basing his remarks on flawed information. Protesters even burned an effigy of Mr Cameron on the streets of Karachi. The cheek of him accusing Pakistan of looking both ways when he has to check with his senior partner before he burps.

Yesterday, officials insisted the informal talks between the two men had been “warm and constructive”. However, the Pakistani president appeared to have wangled a number of pledges from the Prime Minister, including that Mr Cameron would visit Pakistan soon.

Didn’t I tell you he wanted something?

During the hour-long meeting, Mr Cameron also agreed to help Pakistan increase trade with the European Union. In addition, Home Secretary Theresa May will visit Pakistan this autumn (something for them to look forward to); William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, will work more closely with his Pakistani counterpart; and the two countries will hold an annual summit to build closer co-operation.

Speaking outside Chequers, Mr Cameron said “The President and I have been talking about what we see as an unbreakable relationship between Britain and Pakistan based on our mutual interests.”

Mr Zardari was equally warm but appeared more willing than the Prime Minister to acknowledge the simmering tensions behind their talks. He said “[Britain and Pakistan’s] friendship will never break, no matter what happens,” he said. “Storms will come and storms will go, and Pakistan and Britain will stand together.” Get the dig in Zardi old boy!

President Zardari had already visited Chequers on Thursday night for an informal dinner accompanied by his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, whom he introduced to the Prime Minister.

Opposition parties in Pakistan have claimed that this week’s visit was merely a ruse by Mr Zardari to kick start the political career of Bilawal, who has just finished university but is tipped as a future leader of his country.

There you are then quite a shopping list. But DC should be used to being used by foreign politicians. There is quite a long queue US President first, then US Senators, President of Turkey, PM of India and now President of Pakistan. Of course they are not admitting to any nuclear sharing, but I will be betting that President Zardari will be over here finding out what India got and trying to get the same!


  1. Of course Pakistan has involvement with Terrorists. It would be farcical to imagine otherwise.

    Pakistan has to live cheek by jowel with the terrorists who are in the badlands of the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. These tribal areas are semi autonomous and are totally ungovernable.

    The West will soon pull out of Afghanistan and the Taliban will move back in. When that happens Pakistan will have to live with a neighbour run by these people, as everything that America has set up will disappear within a 6 month period. No more women’s hairdressing and nail polishing classes. No more President Karzai.

    It can’t be easy being a strong supported of America when you are an Islamic Republic.

    It’s not like the West is dependable. America changes horses in mid stream so often. It was a strong supporter of the Taliban and Bin Laden itself until the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan and it no longer suited America’s needs to be involved. Pakistan was promised massive aid while it suited America to be there. When there was no further need America ditched them and although there was still money, there were no protective American forces.

    When I say America of course I mean America and its junior partner (s).

    In any case before he criticises, Mr Cameron might like to remember that the British government has worked hand in glove with terrorists in Northern Ireland. Collusion between the protestant factions and the British Secret Service is not a secret any more. Of course that is history and as we know history is not Mr Cameron’s strong suit.

    Sometimes collusion is necessary. When Mr Cameron has been in government a little longer and is a little less naive, I dare say he will learn these things

  2. It is a real shame Cameron had to row back on this one, because he didn't say anything which was untrue. Indeed Pakistan does have serious problems with rogue elements in their military and intelegence arms.

    But it seems that people have chosen to shoot the messenger [Cameron] rather than heed the message [that elements inside Pakistan do try to look both ways].

  3. And just who is behind the rogue elements in their military and intelligence then?

    Who stands to gain the most by keeping up this "war" against the "terrorists" then?

  4. UK's best industry could I suggest missile technology to India and missile defence to Pakistan I leave the reader to who loses out.

  5. I agree Dean its a shame and he is right about Pakistan. But he is the prime minister now and he should have thought before speaking especially as he knew the President was coming on a visit.

  6. CH there is always money in arms. I'm sure that Pakistan will want whatever India gets and DC has handed them the perfect lever with his gaffe.

  7. Not for the designer of the AK47 I believe he didn't profit from its design. What annoys me are those who put their own economy before the plight of those less fortunate by issuing arms assistence as if they are compassionate, crass hypocrisy comes to mind.

  8. dumbed down BritainAugust 09, 2010 1:31 am

    Dean said...

    " intelegence arms. "

    Must be University educated.

  9. dumbed down Britain,

    As much as I love being corrected in my errors, some of us tend to contribute in a rush, having lives of our own outside of the internet.

    From your tone, sneering at university education today I assme you don't have high regard for further education? You just like to feel a tad superior by having more time to check spelling, but as I say, I have a life.

  10. Dumbed Down:

    I think pretty well all of us make typos in our comments from time to time.

    I'm told that my 'teh' for 'the' is famous around the net.

    It's pretty petty to point it out, isn't it? And, of course, it does mean that you have to be super careful when you comment in 'teh' future.

    It's fair, however, to say that general standard of spelling and grammar is low everywhere.

    I noticed in a market yesterday that:

    "Deposit's will only secure good's for one week"!

    And Tesco has tills for people with "less" than 10 items, whereas M&S manage to be correct and use "fewer".

    But the world keeps on turning for all that....

  11. dumbed down BritainAugust 09, 2010 12:51 pm

    Dean said..

    " As much as I love being corrected in my errors "

    No you don't. You get very very cross. Oh and 'corrected in my errors' looks a bit dodgy aswell but you're the University man so I'll bow to your superior education.

  12. dumbed,

    I get very cross? I rather think Tris etc would back me on that. What I do not like is rude impolite people like yourself.

    Manners cost nothing for those brought up to adhere to them.

  13. DDB:It is so easy to make mistakes when typing for example “aswell” do you mean “a swell” or “as well” or did you do it on porpoise? :-)

  14. dumbed down BritainAugust 09, 2010 4:38 pm


    As someone who reads this blog regularly I'd say you definitely don't have any manners.


    I make typos all the time. In my defence 'aswell' is the way I was taught at school. It's known as the 'archaic' way to spell it. 'As well ' is used more often these days so I'll switch to that. Being a modern kind of guy :0 )
    I used to assume that Dean was like the rest of us and that his insane ramblings were mostly a mickey take.
    However I visited his blog ( god bless me) and see that he's serious about the EU and the Union etc. He's a 'Europeanist tax cutter' which must be an oxymoron. The EU's lust for our taxes is unstoppable. Dean also has a University homepage and it too is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatrical errors. It reflects badly on Conservatives ( if that's possible).
    I think if he aspires to be a politician we should at least enjoy teasing him since once he's in office he'll get his snout deep into the trough and won't give a monkeys about anyone else.
    Oh and of course like the gorgon he'll have 'staff' to do all the onerous work like write and spell things for him.
    I wonder what course he is studying that makes him 'too busy' to bother to spell things properly. Most students that I know do the square root of zero all the time.

  15. DDB: So you did do it on porpoise then LOL! If it’s an archaic form then fair enough, although Fowler says you shouldn’t use them, so tut tut!

  16. Well ddB...

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion on this blog, pretty much no matter what that opinion is.

    ...even Tories

    (Joke Dean!)