Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Mansouria Mokhefi, Middle East and North Africa specialist

Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Pakistan spy chief cancels UK visit after 'terror' accusations

©

Video by Nicolas Germain

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-01

Pakistan's spy chief has scrapped a planned visit to Britain after his country's powerful Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency came under fire from Prime Minister David Cameron for its ties to insurgent groups.

REUTERS - Pakistan’s spy chief has called off a trip to Britain in protest at Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks on its militant ties, as Islamabad is hit by a barrage of criticism of its alleged links to terror groups.

A spokesman for the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency, said on Saturday that senior intelligence officials, including ISI head Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, would not go to London on Monday as planned for counter-terrorism talks.

But President Asif Ali Zardari will still visit Britain next week, a government spokesman said.

Cameron, speaking in Pakistan’s arch-rival India on Wednesday, told Islamabad that it must not become a base for militants and "promote the export of terror" across the globe.

A Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman said this week his country had been "saddened" by Cameron’s remarks. Pakistan is a key ally of the United States whose help is crucial for U.S. and Western efforts to stabilise neighbouring Afghanistan.

Cameron’s remarks came days after classified U.S. military reports published on the whistleblower WikiLeaks website detailed U.S. concern that the ISI had aided Taliban militants while the Pakistani government was taking billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

This was not the first time Pakistan’s alleged ties to al Qaeda and Taliban militants, waging a nine-year war in neighbouring Afghanistan, have been put in the spotlight in the past two weeks.

Militant ties in spotlight

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a recent visit to Pakistan, said she believed al Qaeda leaders were still hiding in Pakistan and that some elements in the Pakistani government knew where they were.

Cameron’s remarks appear to have further annoyed Pakistan, which has launched a largescale military offensive against al Qaeda and Taliban militants in its northwestern provinces bordering Afghanistan.

The ISI spokesman said more than 2,500 Pakistani soldiers had been killed and more than 4,000 wounded in battles against militants since the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan in 2001.

More than 30,000 civilians have been killed or wounded in the same period, in addition to over 100 ISI officials, the spokesman added.

Pakistan’s high commissioner to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, said this week in a column in Britain’s Guardian newspaper that Cameron had « damaged the prospects of regional peace ».

Pakistan’s neighbour India also accuses it of supporting militants operating on its soil and peace talks between the two countries have been deadlocked since 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

"He is new in government. Maybe he will learn soon and know how to handle things," Hasan also told the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Pakistan’s economic losses have been estimated by the government at more than $68 billion since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and toppling of the Taliban regime there in 2001.

Cameron, asked by British broadcasters whether he regretted damaging relations with Pakistan ahead of the meeting, he said: "I don’t accept that they have been damaged ... I look forward to discussing these and other issues (with Zardari)."
 

Date created : 2010-07-31

  • DIPLOMACY

    Cameron pressures Pakistan to take on militants on India visit

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Karzai puts pressure on Pakistan after WikiLeaks revelations

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)