My feed

to access all these features


Cameron was right about Pakistan, wasn't he?

38 replies

Chil1234 · 03/05/2011 07:15

He got slated at the time by David Milliband and others for speaking out about the terrorist connections to Pakistan when visiting India, but he was quite right as it turns out. Good call.

OP posts:
meditrina · 03/05/2011 07:17


Chil1234 · 03/05/2011 07:28

It was the famous speech when he accused Pakistan of 'looking both ways'. Link here The Pakistani administration was hopping mad at the time, denying the accusation.

OP posts:
laptopwieldingharpy · 03/05/2011 07:35

Pakistanis themselves think along those lines but diplomacy is all about timing and context.
A british PM making that speech in India is never going to go down well.
Everyone agrees but wrong pulpit.

Chil1234 · 03/05/2011 10:10

I think there's been far too much diplomatic treading on eggshells where Pakistan is concerned. Sometimes it takes an outspoken 'what everyone else is thinking but not saying' remark to force the pace. Pakistan's government is poorly run. Happy to take military and humanitarian aid from Western nations, but not tackling the threat from within effectively.

OP posts:
complimentary · 03/05/2011 11:01

YES he was right.

laptopwieldingharpy · 03/05/2011 11:07

Agree completely but bad form nonetheless in complicated bilateral relations and coming from the former colonial ruler.

I have a very close group of friends intermarried between pakistanis and Indians and on both sides, it was received with a bit of scorn.

here in very measured words, is an example of what a major Indian newspaper says of Cameron's political courage outspoken stance when it comes to sovereign nations with a bit of history with Britain.

thaigreencurry · 03/05/2011 11:08

I agree with laptop. It was his timing that was the issue.

meditrina · 03/05/2011 11:13

Thanks, Chil.

Here's a link to what he's saying today, which chimes with the above, and points out why he thinks dialogue with and assistance to Pakistan is the way ahead.

laptopwieldingharpy · 03/05/2011 11:17

India does have very decent measured politicians but a huge population and is struggling on a grassroots level to contain fanaticism on both sides of the religious fence.
I feel it was counterproductive to allow Indian politicians to nod approvingly to a british PM (which they do not want to be seen to do) and on such a sensitive issue (which they would have had to do).
I don't know maybe i think differently because I live in Asia and its all about "face" in human relations.

laptopwieldingharpy · 03/05/2011 11:22

Yes Meditrina, now it IS crucial to probe Pakistan and start witholding aid bribes and military contracts. Is it realistic?
The fact that it has not been done in the last 10 years when Pakistan was obviously a problem as big as Afghanistan, makes me seriously doubt that its going to be more than huffing and puffing.

Chil1234 · 03/05/2011 12:00

The difference is that we now know that for some of the last 10 years they've been home to Bin Laden. This ups the ante, as it were, and the 'huffing and puffing' has considerably more weight. The Afghans are thrilled that he wasn't found on their soil. The Pakistanis are now in a very embarrassing position and 'trust us we know what we're doing' is not a line they can continue to take. If it's face-saving they want, they're have to work really hard to rescue this one.

OP posts:
meditrina · 03/05/2011 12:11

Yes, it's quite different to the situation had he been found in the tribal areas. And to be fair, all previous reporting about the hunt suggested he did move around a lot, specifically to evade capture. I don't think we can assume he spent all of his time holed up in the location where he was finally taken. But I am wondering what else happened at that site, and who else from the AQ hierarchy used it. And rumours about ISI have never been satisfactorily laid to rest.

But, absent a regime change and wholesale clear out in ISI and the military (which may not be advisable, given wider strategic considerations) then I do agree that engagement, not isolation, is the only pragmatic way ahead.

laptopwieldingharpy · 03/05/2011 12:38

yes it is quite a shock that he was so close to Islamabad and from what pakistani friends say literally next door to military barracks.

Everybody has always known Bin Laden was in Pakistan, it is a big blow that it has know been confirmed that they were harboring him.

With so many front already open at the moment, I wonder how we can stretch resources further AND forgo those lucrative military deals.....considering the electoral agenda.

Mellowfruitfulness · 03/05/2011 17:29

Yes, Pakistan has a lot of questions to answer.

So do the Americans, though. I haven't read the papers yet, but could they have taken him alive? I think I heard that they just shot him, there and then? Doesn't everyone deserve a trial - even Nazi war criminals got one, after all.

The headlines on the Telegraph and Daily Mail made me feel physically sick. Gloating and taunting just reflects really badly on the people who do it, imo. Remember how Sadam Husain was treated at his execution? Whatever these monsters have done, it's a hateful way for their captors to behave.

If the Americans and British want to win the war for hearts and minds, we have to behave well in the world, imo.

And, btw, predictably enough, I talked to two young people today who say Bin Laden is still alive. If the US had brought him to trial there would be no conspiracy theories at least, and this one will run and run ...

ajandjjmum · 03/05/2011 17:38

He was taking the mick big time. His compound was named after the area in the mountains that he was thought to be hiding in.

Can't be happy about anyone being killed, but without a doubt, the world is a better place without him, and I think the Americans were right to kill him.

Chil1234 · 03/05/2011 19:03

"Doesn't everyone deserve a trial "

In this case, I think he waived that right when he organised 9/11. In the case of Saddam Hussein it was right that he was tried for his crimes by his own people because they were committed on his own people. When/if Gadaffi is captured, ditto. But Bin Laden attacked the US people on US soil, gloated about it in endless videos, and effectively signed his own death warrant. A trial would have given him a platform to grandstand.

OP posts:
TheSecondComing · 03/05/2011 19:06

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mellowfruitfulness · 03/05/2011 20:15

Just watched Channel 4 News. Another view of this is that the Pakistani government knew he was there all the time (of course they did) but 'released' him to be killed by the US in order to improve relations at a time when the relationship between the countries was at a low. Whether the US government knew they had him, whether he was in effect under house arrest, I don't know. But things are never as they seem, least of all in matters like this. I expect someone somewhere has been wheeling and dealing ...

And yes, he did deserve a trial. The Lockerbie bomber got one. Everyone deserves a trial.

ajandjjmum · 03/05/2011 20:54

Disagree Mellow.

Mellowfruitfulness · 03/05/2011 21:00

About him deserving a trial? Or the wheeling and dealing? I don't have an opinion on that - I've no idea what the real story is ...

Mellowfruitfulness · 04/05/2011 07:08

So now the Pakistani government are claiming (Today Prog, Radio 4) that the Americans knew Bibn Laden was there all the time. What that means, presumably, is that they could have arrested him whenever they wanted, but they chose to go in and kill him in front of his family. Or is this a lie told by the P government to defend its own actions?

Chil1234 · 04/05/2011 07:16

Pakistan this morning are backpedalling like mad claiming they had identified the compound as suspicious but did not have the means to do anything about it. Which sounds a lot like 'we have spent the night desperately scrabbling through old reports and have found some obscure passing reference which we completely ignored at the time'. The only 'wheeling and dealing', I suspect, was the transfer of the folding stuff from Bin Laden's supporters to various people - some more important than others. The USA are quite openly saying that they didn't pre-warn Pakistan of the operation because they don't trust them - so it hasn't improved relations, if that was the plan. And if the USA thought Pakistan knew where he was all the time but held out on them, relations would sink to even lower lows.

It's always a toss-up which emerges first from these stories. The sick jokes or the conspiracy theories.

OP posts:
laptopwieldingharpy · 04/05/2011 09:20

Am sure they have been watching for some time. The debacle of the cia bureau chief a couple of months ago is most probably linked to this operation. In the big scheme of things am wondering what the timing means though.

Mellowfruitfulness · 04/05/2011 16:33

I think one of the reasons the US went in without notifying the P government was probably because they wanted to seize any documentation etc.

maypole1 · 04/05/2011 22:16

Their like a married man they are telling us what we want to hear to keep us their bitch then going home to the one they really love

They are not to be trusted and dave was spot on

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.