Cameron promised to be tough on Pakistan
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 01, 2010, 10:12
London: British Prime Minister David Cameron's remark during his India visit in June about Pakistan looking "both ways" in the war against terrorism was in line with his party's promise to America to act tough on Islamabad, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

According to the report based on leaked US cables, the US was promised before the May 6 UK general election that a Conservative government could be tougher on Pakistan, because the Tories claimed to be less dependent than Labour on domestic votes from people with Pakistani connections.

In a leaked 10 December 2009 cable, the US ambassador to the UK, Louis Susman recorded meeting Tory leader Liam Fox, who is now the defence secretary.

"Fox criticised the Labour government for policies which reinforce the Indian government's long-held view that HMG's [Her Majesty's government's] foreign relations on the subcontinent are 'skewed to Pakistan'", the cable said.

He is quoted as saying that "the Conservatives are 'less dependent' than the Labour party on votes from the British-Pakistani community".

During the June visit to India, Cameron urged Pakistanis not to face both ways on the issue of terrorism. His remarks caused a diplomatic furore.

The London US embassy reported that Cameron and "an eager group from his frontbench" met a Congressional delegation led by Republican Senator John McCain in 2008.

"Cameron..raised Pakistan, noting that 60,000 individuals travel to Pakistan from the UK each year and that this has implications for the UK's own significant domestic 'terror threat'."

McCain stressed to him how worried he too was about Pakistan, "If they don't co-operate and help us, I don't know what we are going to do."

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, December 01, 2010, 10:12

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