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Zardari aide rejects demand of UK visit cancellation

President Asif Ali Zardari`s spokesman rejected the notion that the head-of-state should have cancelled his visit to Britain to protest PM David Cameron`s remarks that Pakistan is involved in promoting the "export of terror".



Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari`s
spokesman today 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".

PTI

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