David Cameron delivers a speech at Infosys Technologies headquarters in Bangalore Photo: AP
On his recent visit to India, British Prime Minister David Cameron callously displayed his inexperience as a leader and his inability to represent Britain at the international stage. In the great game where leaders from around the world unite to find common ground in defeating the enemy, Cameron turned out to be the “Saddam” of the Afghan war. He betrayed the very people he represented, he betrayed his mandate, and rubbed salt on the wounds of the one country that is fighting day and night to protect the very way of life he cherishes.
His abilities as an international leader who could carry Britain’s interests abroad were in question throughout his election campaign. While this diplomatic blunder did not come as a surprise to most
political analysts it hurt Pakistanis dearly and in the longer run will hurt the interests of Britain in the war on terror.
Like Saddam, Cameron in his arrogance went too far pleasing a regional power without realizing the intricacies of the situation. Like Saddam, Cameron betrayed the mandate given to him by his people to fight terror and defeat it. Like Saddam, Cameron successfully created a divide amongst the ranks, weakened the resolve of a key ally and back-stabbed the world at the most sensitive stage of the war on terror. A unity that took a painstaking effort from Obama, Karzai, Zardari, Sarkozy and other NATO allies around the world to build over the last two years was destroyed by one selfish act. In essence Cameron like Saddam, betrayed the very cause he was supposed to be fighting for.
In response, Pakistan on her end has some straight questions for Cameron and the people of Britain. Why should Pakistan partner an ungrateful greedy opportunist who spits on their infinite sacrifices
and pleases its arch rival at her expense? If Cameron in his confused “straight talk” believes that Pakistan is looking both ways then words will not be enough. If he feels Britain can do better on her
own, or he is in a position to face Pakistan as an adversary and not an ally just to get a few hundred jobs through trade with India. His straight talking is as straight as Saddam’s about Kuwait and the
well being of the Iraqi people.
Such a government in Britain deserves zero level of cooperation from Pakistan and the world. Maybe Cameron forgot while licking Indian boots that Pakistan has lost more lives in the last 9 years to
terrorists in this war than the number of hours David Cameron has spent in his new found office that’s fueling his arrogance. Pakistan will surely not force Cameron to accept and acknowledge her sincerity.
Even with all the limitations in understanding and ability Cameron brings to the table as the British PM, Pakistan still does not need to list her contribution in protecting the world from the menace of
If one was to list the pain and suffering Pakistan has faced while fighting this menace for the entire world, the successes Pakistan has achieved in protecting humanity, the brave front Pakistan has taken up by taking the bullet on the chest, and fighting hard on its own soil to not allow the terrorists to spread around the world. The never ending list would drown the subservient words uttered by the loudmouth Prime minister.
For seven years while Great Britain and America ignored Afghanistan completely oil hunting in the Middle East. The world was left unguarded at the mercy of terrorists. They were allowed to spread from a contained position in Afghanistan to settled areas of Pakistan and beyond. Pakistan with a porous unmanned unguarded border with Afghanistan was left at Al-Qaeda’s mercy with her limited financial,
security and military resources. While David Cameron’s predecessor was busy looting the spoils of war in Iraq, Pakistan lost her most loved, most revered leader Benazir Bhutto to terrorists. Cameron disgraced the great Pakistani leader and the nation’s sacrifice. More importantly he disgraces the nation he leads, he insults the soldiers who fight for the world and the way of life as he sees it.
Pakistan has lost 2800 of her sons in battle. Pakistan has seen civilians massacred on a daily basis in suicide attacks across the country. The severity of this somehow is not felt by Cameron before his straight talking. Losing 4000 civilian lives coupled with over 28000 critically wounded, seems insignificant for Cameron to ferment Pakistan’s resolve. The Wikileak’s reports that were the basis of the question asked to Cameron in India was described by Julian Assange (Founder Wikileaks) as inaccurate stories from unconfirmed Afghan sources, intelligence that Julian felt was ‘BOGUS’.
What is even more resentful is the allegation of looking both ways, double dealing. Since mid-October last year, when over 130,000 Pakistani troops launched an attack on Mehsud territory(Waziristan), a
retaliatory terrorism spree has ripped through every large Pakistani city, including Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi , Lahore and Multan. Over 1500 have been killed and thousands injured, mostly by suicide-blasts. Senior army officers, have been among the dead. Lieutenant-General Masood Aslam, commander of Pakistan’s north-western campaign and the war in Waziristan, the man Cameron targets in his straight talking, lost his only son in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi in retaliation to the offensive. Pakistan would ask Cameron, would you double deal, would you look both ways, would you comfort the murderers of your only son?
If it is blatantly obvious and in the world’s face that Pakistan is suffering and striving hard to protect humanity, and if Pakistan falls the world as we know ends, why should Cameron be allowed to become the Saddam of the 21st century. Why should we as a world pounce on the vaguest opportunity that presents itself for Pakistan bashing? To become true allies of Pakistan and to enable it fully to fight for us, we must learn from China and maybe follow her lead.
As Zardari aptly put it in France, “to succeed against extremism and terrorism we need to win hearts and minds, and at the moment we are failing at it.” Now this is the time for damage control. The world
would like to see David Cameron revise his position and forgo his insensitive arrogance before it is too late and he like Saddam has to pay dearly for it.