British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said Pakistan could not be allowed to harbour militants and promote terror against India, Afghanistan and the rest of the world.
Cameron, on his first visit to India after becoming prime minister in May, laid out the basis for a new “enhanced relationship” with India. Apart from Cameron’s own tough talk on terrorism, his business minister Vince Cable announced the UK was prepared to export civil nuclear technology to India, bringing Britain in line with the stance taken by the United States, Russia and France.
Travelling to Bangalore and then to Delhi, Cameron signed a Rs. 5,082 crore (£700million) agreement for the Indian Air Force and Navy to buy an additional 57 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft from British Aerospace Systems.
Cameron said US President Barack Obama, with whom he spoke last week, was in full agreement with him on Pakistan. “We want Pakistan to emerge a strong, stable, democratic nation. We can’t 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 Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world,” Cameron said at the Infosys headquarters in Bangalore.
Britain was determined that the Taliban’s Haqqani network or the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba should not be allowed to launch attacks on Indian and British citizens in their respective countries or in Afghanistan, he added.
The British PM’s decision on nuclear trade is known to have been opposed by senior members of his own government. Cable said, “There are obvious security sensitivities. But within those constraints we really want to push ahead with civil nuclear cooperation.” British firms like Rolls-Royce and Serco will be among the key beneficiaries.
India and the UK are expected to make further announcements in the field of immigration, education and sign an agreement on cultural cooperation on Thursday.
On India’s relations with Pakistan, he said, “Let me state clearly: your relations with those countries are a matter for you — and you alone.”
Cameron welcomed India’s support to Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan, its “intellectual leadership” at the G20, and said the time was ripe for India to find a place in the UN Security council.