David Cameron Pakistan Trip- “We are responsible for many world Problems”

By Majed Iqbal– It was only last year during a visit to India, British Prime Minister David Cameron labelled Pakistan a terrorist haven. A year on and this time on Pakistani soil, In Islamabad, David Cameron confesses that Britain’s meddling in many hotspots in the world is the root cause of modern conflicts.

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Cameron’s remarks came during his one-day visit to Pakistan last Tuesday, when he was asked by students at Islamabad’s Institute of Information Technology on his stance on how Britain could play a role in resolving the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan.

What followed were remarks that made jaws drop, both east and west.

“I don’t want to try to insert Britain in some leading role where, as with so many of the world’s problems, we are responsible for the issue in the first place” The Telegraph quoted Cameron, as replying.

Cameron affirmed many deeply held reservations by Pakistani on Britain’s role as a colonial force. During the British Raj, Britain was systematic in Abuses, Human rights violations, Crushing the uprising against British Rule, creating discord between communities who had lived side by side for centuries and eventually leaving the area with a dangling conflict exacerbated by Lord Mountbatten, accused of siding with the Indians in granting them the Muslim majority state of Kashmir.

His remarks about Kashmir were received with surprise by the Pakistani audience, but back home Politicians were questioning his comments.

Tristram Hunt, the Labour MP and historian, who said: “To say that Britain is a cause of many of the world’s ills is naïve.  David Cameron has a tendency to go to countries around the world and tell them what they want to hear, whether it is in Israel, Turkey, India and Pakistan.”

Daisy Cooper, the director of the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit, said: “This is typical of the UK’s schizophrenic relationship with former colonies where it is both proud and embarrassed about its past”

But in the week which saw four elderly Kenyans take the Government to court over their treatment in British detention camps in the 50s, David Cameron was in no position to defend Britain’s ‘legacies’ around the world.

The shift in language to appease audiences was definitely there. Last year, Pakistan was labelled as an exporter of terror. Now, the British PM spoke of the sacrifices Pakistanis have made (in the War on terror) and veiled his words decoratively such as “Together with our Pakistani friends….”

It wasn’t the end there. Britain’s lead role in Libya led to further questions on the motives for their involvement in a nation which poses no threat to them, as has been the case for years only until two months. Prior to this Ghadaffi was shaking hands with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown with no problems around his decades of dictatorship, crushing opposition, assassinating political figures outside of Libya and being sold arms to oversee these process by the West.

David Cameron attempted to reassure Muslim opinion about the Nato-led military operation in Libya, telling students in Pakistan it is not an “attack on Islam”.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he told the audience. “I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that international action in Libya is an attack on Islam. Backed by the United Nations and the Arab League, we have taken action to protect people – predominantly Muslim people – from slaughter, just as we did in Kosovo over a decade ago.”

Britain’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has led many in the Muslim world to believe and re-confirm the notion that “Western governments don’t do charity”. The wars fought are largely seen as attempts to further entrench Western hegemony over Muslim countries and gain control over strategic areas for dominance and access to a wealth of resources.

The British PM David Cameron was forced to make re-conciliatory comments to Pakistanis about Britain’s role in the world and comfort the masses in his explanation that Britain is not at war with Muslims.

Similarly, back in April 2009, US President, Barack Obama on his trip in Turkey mentioned in a speech to members of the Turkish Parliament that the United States “is not at war with Islam” and called for a stronger relationship between the United States and the Muslim world that goes beyond the fight against al Qaeda.

Britain’s colonial legacy still poisons its relations with Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The imperial past, far from being dead, is still felt and sensed as very much as alive, but this time the reigns are in the hands of the US.

Perhaps we should not be amazed then when British foreign policy ‘interventions’ in sovereign countries  are seen and perceived as “neo-colonial” in their nature.

The battle for winning hearts and minds for the West continues in a world where revolutions are now talk of the town.

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Comments

  1. It appears from your blog post that Mr Cameron would ride on anyone’s back. Can this man or his government really be trusted by what they say?

  2. Dr. O. P. Sudrania says:

    Whateverelsee, at least he is correct on this point of colonialism and its ills.
    God be merciful,

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