Zardari claims 'victory' after talks with Cameron
Did Prime Minister David Cameron blink first during talks with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari at Chequers yesterday?world Updated: Aug 07, 2010 15:50 IST
Did Prime Minister David Cameron blink first during talks with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari at Chequers yesterday?
According to British media he did.
In their face-to-face at Chequers after Cameroon sparked off a storm with his comment that Pakistan was looking both ways on the issue of terrorism, a triumphant Zardari – dubbed the 'artful dodger' in the British media – claimed that he won the latest war of attrition.
According to Zardari, "we had some straight talk and we became friends".
He claimed to have convinced Cameron that Pakistan was doing all it could to stop militant jihadi groups "exporting terror" to Afghanistan and Britain.
At the same time, he appeared to rule out a new crackdown or any specific additional security measures to satisfy Cameron's demand that Pakistan do more to close down terror groups on Pakistan soil.
Calling Zardari the 'artful dodger of Pakistan', The Guardian said in an editorial: "In the eyeball-to-eyeball session, it was Mr Cameron who blinked first.
"Zardari got a bland communique declaring that the relationship between the two countries was unbreakable, a British commitment to a Marshall plan for Afghanistan, and above all, no hint of anyone in the Pakistan security establishment 'facing two ways'.
"As a result, a beaming Zardari could claim afterwards that there had never been any problem in the relationship".
In an interview to The Guardian titled 'Zardari claims win in terror row with UK', he said: "We are already fighting all of these groups, I have lost my wife (Benazir Bhutto) to these terrorists, we have lost 30,000 of our population.I think we are fighting every possible way we can."
Zardari went on to say: "We are already doing quite a bit and we are always trying to do more and get closer, better. It's not something that I need to be told to do. We do it on our own. I think Cameron and the British government are looking at Pakistan and understand that Pakistan is doing its best."
During his visit to India, Cameron said: "We cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country (Pakistan) is allowed to look both ways, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world".
First Published: Aug 07, 2010 15:49 IST