Editorial : Cameron`s remarks - Thursday 7th April 2011

LAST year, during a visit to India, British Prime Minister David Cameron labelled Pakistan a terrorist haven. In Islamabad on Tuesday, he tried to allay Pakistani fears. He was lucky to have at hand hosts who had no option but to ignore his uncharitable observations of the past. With rare, if any, exceptions Pakistani politicians themselves are well aware of how big a part their immediate surroundings and the people around them play in eliciting a statement out of them. The contrast between the nationalist speeches they make to the local gallery and their submission to the international powers is a case in point. Likewise, Mr Cameron may have been moved by bilateral realities in India last year. His hosts in Islamabad on Tuesday had too many other important issues in mind to let the incident come in the way of what the British prime minister termed as the ` naya aghaaz ` or new beginning.
In diplomacy and politics, it matters how one elaborates one`s views. With experience, Mr Cameron and his speechwriters have been able to get their nuances right, without having to change the content and thrust of their argument. Last year, Pakistan was labelled as an exporter of terror. In his address to university students in Islamabad on Tuesday, the British prime minister was satisfied with a mention of “…terrorism that has done harm elsewhere in the region….” He spoke of the sacrifices Pakistanis have made and couched his words in decorative cushions such as “Together with our Pakistani friends….”
These trappings should, however, not detract from the pointed message that he conveyed to the Pakistani leadership: Britain is ready to invest money to fight extremism here, and in return it demands results which for the time being have been denied to it. This is consistent with the western trade policy on Pakistan and should leave the officials in Islamabad under no illusion about what they are being paid for. Mr Cameron echoed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton`s remarks about taxpayers: “You are not raising the resources necessary to pay for things that a modern state and people require.” He also sounded a virtual warning to the current incumbents at the same time as he sought to explain the situation to the people they were representing: “Not fair on you, ordinary Pakistanis, who suffer at the sharpest end of this weak government…” And “my job is made more difficult when people in Britain look at Pakistan, a country that receives millions of pounds of our aid money, and see weaknesses in terms of government capacity and waste.” These are declarations more categorical than earlier ones.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/07/camerons-remarks.html

No comments:

Post a Comment