South Asia

Pakistani and Indian papers divided on Cameron comments

Pakistani newspaper commentators have poured scorn on comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron which have sparked a diplomatic row.

Image caption Protesters burnt an effigy of David Cameron in Karachi

Mr Cameron remarked, while on a trip to India last week, that Pakistan should not be allowed to "promote the export of terror".

The comments come at the start of a visit to Britain by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Some commentators in Indian newspapers said Mr Cameron had vindicated India's contention that it has been the target of Pakistani-sponsored terror attacks.

Pakistan's The News

"British Prime Minister David Cameron, doubtless wanting to make an impression early in his premiership, has produced a significant diplomatic foot-in-mouth moment ... Indeed we might go so far as to suggest that before you repeat the foot-mouth procedure you might like to have a quiet word or two with your Ambassador here in Pakistan."

Pakistan's Daily Times

"It is imperative that we reach out to the developed world for trade and aid, and not seclude ourselves from the rest of the world. Furthermore, Britain has a longstanding role in Afghanistan and thus, mutual cooperation between the two countries is a prerequisite for any regional peace ... we must weigh the hurt and anger caused by the British prime minister's indiscretions, and decide in our own best interests. That does not preclude the president speaking plainly to our British hosts and conveying the negative fallout of the incident."

Pakistan's Daily Express

"The statement by the British prime minister is a matter of serious concern ... The people of Pakistan are right in severely criticising this statement. So intense is this criticism that some circles are urging President Zardari to cancel his UK visit."

Pakistan's Jasarat

"This harsh and undiplomatic language is not related to any deal, but is part of the global agenda against Pakistan. Even though they are aware of this our rulers are demonstrating extreme cowardice by trading their loyalty in return for a few pennies."

India's The Hindu

"It is striking that while the more gung-ho Americans seldom put a wrong foot, the British despite their supposedly better understanding of the region and particularly Indian-Pak sensitivities never seem to get it right. Mr Cameron is simply the latest casualty of a tendency that, one suspects, has something to do with a mindset which refuses to recognise that the era of Britain lecturing its former colonial subjects while they listened quietly is over."

India's Mail Today

"By accusing Pakistan of double-dealing in the fight against terrorism, Mr Cameron has vindicated India's position. This marks a break from Britain's earlier attitude of turning a blind eye to Pakistan's support to terrorist outfits ... This is a new approach which doesn't hesitate in calling a spade a spade. Let's hope the pressures of international politics do not force Mr Cameron to dilute his style."

India's Rashtriya Sahara

"Western countries, under the leadership of the United States and Britain, have decided to hold up a mirror before Pakistan to reflect its deceit. This is probably also the first time that Britain has openly tried to please India at Pakistan's cost. This is a clear indication of vast changes in the new regime's policies."

India's Daily News and Analysis

"The fact of the matter is that Pakistan would not have been able to export terror anywhere had it not been for the support - tacit or otherwise - it has received from the UK and the US."

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