London: Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has expressed concerns that the relationship between Pakistan and the United Kingdom could be affected if British Prime Minister David Cameron repeats his assertions against his country on the issue of terrorism.
Kaira said that Cameron’s hostile remarks that Pakistan was promoting the “export of terror” have shocked and hurt the sentiments of the Pakistani people.
He emphasised that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari during his five-day visit to the UK would take up this issue with the British leadership, and convey the sentiments of the Pakistanis in a forthright manner.
The minister said that any continuation of such a policy stance by the British government could lead to fissures in the historically sound relationship between the two countries.
“But we hope that this will not happen because Pakistan’s stand against terrorism is based on facts evident to everyone,” The News quoted Kaira, as saying.
Earlier, last week, during his visit to India, Cameron said that Pakistan could not “look both ways” in receiving billions of dollars in aid from Western nations while continuing to “promote the export of terror, whether to India or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world”.
He later defended his comments, and said: “I think it’s important, as I say, to speak frankly about these things to countries that are your friends”.
When asked whether he regretted damaging relations with Pakistan ahead of Zardari’s visit, Cameron said: “I don’t accept that they have been damaged... I look forward to discussing these and other issues (with Zardari)”.
According to a press release issued by the Pakistan High Commission in London, during his visit, Zardari will meet Cameron at his country residence in Chequers, on the outskirts of London, on August 06.