Wednesday, 6 April 2011
David Cameron visits Pakistan on day trip...
On Tuesday UK Prime Minister David Cameron was in Pakistan meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani and President Asif Zardari.
The meeting was used an opportunity to cement an "unbreakable bond" with Pakistan and during the visit David Cameron called for an end to the taught relationship between India and Pakistan saying:
"I believe the time is ripe for your countries to look even further beyond what divides you and embrace what unites you."
David Cameron also committed to a budget of £665m of UK Tax Payers money to improve the educational system in Pakistan. Many are saying that in times of such austerity such a donation is excessive to say the least and could be better used at home. I am inclined to agree with this point of view considering the corruption that exists in Pakistan and the lack of traceability or accountability of previous funds. Moreover, I am very concerned that in establishing wholesale, holistic educational reforms will further disenfranchise minorities in Pakistan. 86% of Pakistani minorities work in the sewerage and refuse industry or are domestic labour, only 7% of them attain an adequate level of literacy - what steps are taking to insure the imbalance in removed? My guess is that absolutely no intent exists,to correct this
If a foreign aid budget is to be sent to Pakistan should it be so large when the Pakistani Government is failing to tax it's own people? The rich in Pakistan live a tax-free lifestyle leaching of the foreign aid budgets provided by Western Nations for national improvements that should be the responsibility of the government of Pakistan. Britain supports Pakistan as one of it's allies against the War on terror yet their attempts to nullify the Taliban are often whimsical or half-hearted at best.
David Cameron calling for peace with India is indicative of the need for stability in the region, and better relations with India would enable Pakistan to focus more on removing the Taliban from the North West Frontier Provinces. This said, with purported links between the ISI (Pakistan's secret service) and the Taliban, it may be amiable relations with India might not be a Pakistani priority, besides what excuse would remain for Taliban usurpation of the NWFP?
What frightens me is that by sharing our military and police surveillance techniques and training our counterparts in Pakistan, That the UK is placing itself in danger.
In particular David Cameron spoke about creating a school of excellence for Mine sweeping and disposal. What if we found the same techniques being used against our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The London 7/7 Bombings and other terrorist attacks in the UK an be traced to perpetrators of Pakistani descent. A fact that requires our British government to give critical importance to it's relations with Pakistan. However it is dangerous to commit too much to that relationship until we can see evidence of change and reform. In the wake of the killings of two of Pakistan's most progressive statesmen and a subsequent increase in persecution of the Christian minority in Pakistan, fuelled by Pastor Terry Jones, pernicious activity burning a Quran, the future prospects for tolerance in Pakistan seem remarkably distant....
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