Bangalore, July 28 (ANI): Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday suggested that Pakistan is promoting the 'export of terror' in Afghanistan and around the world.
In words likely to be greeted with alarm in Islamabad, Cameron also suggested that Pakistan had links with terrorist groups, and was guilty of double-dealing by aligning itself with both the West and the forces it was opposing.
Asked by a member of the audience why Britain and the United States were pouring money into Pakistan, given suggestions that it was linked to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, Cameron said it is an issue he is extremely concerned about, and added that he had already discussed the problem with US President Barack Obama and would do so also with Manmohan Singh, his Indian counterpart.
He then went on: "We should be very, very clear with Pakistan that we want to see a strong, stable and democratic Pakistan.
"We can not tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world.
"That is why this relationship is important. It should be a relationship based on a very clear message: that it is not right to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror.
"Democratic states that want to be part of the developed world cannot do that. The message to Pakistan from the US and the UK is very clear on that point."
He was applauded warmly as he told the audience of workers at a technology firm: "When it comes to protecting our people, we can not overlook what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"We - like you - want a Pakistan that is stable, democratic and free from terror.
"We - like you - want an Afghanistan that is secure, free from interference from its neighbours and not a threat to our security.
"We - like you - are determined that groups like the Taliban, the Haqqani network or Lakshar e Taiba should not be allowed to launch attacks on Indian and British citizens in India or in Britain.
"Nor against our people, whether soldiers or civilians, from both our countries who are working for peace in Afghanistan."
Later, according to The Telegraph, Cameron appeared to soften his strong line, insisting that he had only meant to suggest that any support for terrorism from "within Pakistan" was unacceptable.
Aides to the Prime Minister said he had never been talking about the Pakistani government.
His message had been that the Pakistani government did need to do more to crack down on terror groups, they added. (ANI)