Pakistan's spy chief has called off a trip to Britain in protest at Prime Minister David Cameron's controversial “militancy” allegations.
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.
The ISI spokesman said more than 2,500 Pakistani soldiers had been killed and more than 4,000 wounded in battles against fighters 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.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands civilians were forced to flee their homes beacuse of Pakistani offensive in northwestern tribal areas under the pressure of U.S.
But Cameron, speaking in Pakistan's arch-rival India on Wednesday, told Islamabad to “stop promote the export of terror”, sparking strong criticisms from both, Pakistan and Britain.
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 claimed U.S. concern that the ISI had “aided” Taliban while the Pakistani government was taking billions of dollars in U.S. aid.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a recent visit to Asian country, targeted Pakistan, claiming al Qaeda leaders were still hiding in the neighbor of the war-hit Afghanistan and that some elements in the Pakistani government knew where they were.
Cameron's remarks have gone further despite Pakistan launched a largescale military offensive in its northwestern provinces bordering Afghanistan under the pressure of U.S.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan President Haid Karzai targeted Pakistan over revealed U.S. documents by Wikileaks, asking West why they don’t occupy Pakistan as they did in Afghanistan nine year ago.
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".
"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.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 31 Temmuz 2010, 14:32