Pakistan summons British envoy over Cameron’s terror remark (Lead)

August 2nd, 2010 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron By Venkata Vemuri
London, Aug 2 (IANS) Islamabad Monday summoned the British envoy to Pakistan over remarks on terrorism by Prime Minister David Cameron during his India visit and told him that terrorism is a global issue and the onus for dealing with it should not be put “on any one country”.

The message was a reaction to Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks during his visit to India last week that Pakistan must stop “exporting terror”.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi conveyed Islamabad’s opinion to British High Commissioner Adam Thomson when the latter met him in Islamabad.

A release from the Pakistan foreign ministry said: “The foreign minister emphasised that terrorism was a global issue and had to be dealt with by all countries in a spirit of cooperation, rather than putting the entire onus on any one country. He said Pakistan was itself a victim of terrorism and its efforts against violent extremism could not be negated.”

Thomson on his part “explained the context in which the remarks were made by the British prime minister”, the release said, adding the high commissioner emphasised that Britain “was looking forward to further strengthening its strategic relations with Pakistan in the months and years ahead”.

The release said: “It was underlined that the upcoming meeting between the president of Pakistan and the prime minister of Britain at Chequers would provide a useful opportunity to understand each other’s viewpoint on issues of mutual concern, as well as take the bilateral relationship forward.”

Chequers is the official country residence of the British Prime Minister in Buckinghamshire.

The meeting in Islamabad comes on the eve of the five-day visit to Britain of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari who was under pressure from home to cancel the trip.

There has been an outcry in Pakistan over what Cameron said about Pakistan in relation to terrorism.

Cameron had said: “We should be very, very clear with Pakistan that we want to see a strong, stable and democratic Pakistan. We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country 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.”

Pakistan’s Information Minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira, has been quoted by the British media as saying Zardari will correct Cameron’s “misperception” during his visit.

(Venkata Vemuri can be contacted at venkata.v@ians.in)

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