Zardari aide rejects demand of UK visit cancellation
President Asif Ali Zardari's spokesman on Monday rejected the notion that the head-of-state should have cancelled his visit to Britain to protest Prime Minister David Cameron's remarks that Pakistan is involved in promoting the "export of terror".Updated: Aug 02, 2010, 22:47 IST
President Asif Ali Zardari's spokesman on Monday rejected the notion that the head-of-state should have cancelled his visit to Britain to protest Prime Minister David Cameron's remarks that Pakistan is involved in promoting the "export of terror".
Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar, who is accompanying Zardari on an official visit to France, said in a statement that Cameron's "uncalled for remarks and the fact that these were made in India had disappointed the people of Pakistan."
Babar said "it was all the more important that the President's visit to UK went ahead as planned to raise this and other issues with the British Prime Minister."
Earlier in the day, the Foreign Office summoned British High Commissioner Adam Thomson to convey its position over Cameron's warning that the country should sever links with groups that "export" terrorism to Afghanistan and India.
"Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a meeting with the British High Commissioner in the Foreign Office today, conveyed the sentiments of the government and the people of Pakistan at the remarks made by the British Prime Minister during his recent visit to India regarding Pakistan," said an official statement.
Cameron stirred up a storm in Pakistan by saying at a public interaction in India that Pakistan should sever links with all groups that promote the "export of terror" to Afghanistan, India and other parts of the world.
Despite criticism of his remarks by Pakistani leaders, Cameron defended them, saying it was "important to speak frankly."
Though Pakistani leaders, including main opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, called on Zardari to call of his visit to Britain, the President decided to go ahead with the trip.
The chief of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency cancelled a visit to Britain in August, apparently to protest Cameron's remarks.
Foreign Minister Qureshi too described the remarks as "totally unacceptable".