AZAM KHALIL "The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity." - Samuel Johnson The British Prime Minister Mr Gordon Brown is not even a reflection of glory of his predecessor Tony Blair, who excelled him in all fields of governance and diplomacy. The British ship under Brown has been slowly sinking and foreign policy under him lies in complete disarray. The latest example of poor British diplomacy came in the shape of an outburst by the British prime minister when he demanded that Pakistan should do more to break Al-Qaeda and try to capture its leader Mr Osama bin Laden. There seems to be an unholy alliance between the United States and Britain and both are in a race as to who excels in pleasing India more. Otherwise, just before the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani, who is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom in the next couple of days, this outburst was not only terrible but against all norms of diplomacy that is in practice throughout the world. It may be pertinent to point out that the British authorities, probably on the instructions of the overzealous British prime minister, had issued instructions to the British authorities in Islamabad who demanded nikkahnamas and the B-forms of children of all those journalists who were on the entourage of the Pakistani prime minister. This unprecedented and humiliating move should have been taken care of by the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and could have led to a pre-visit disaster in case the Pakistanis had not acted in the most polite, dignified and firm manner. The demand of these documents by the British authorities is not made anywhere else in the world and as such to single out Pakistani journalists for such an attitude must be condemned in the strongest possible terms by the concerned authorities at all levels. It is understood that at least a couple of journalists who were picked up for this tour made a loud protest and it was only after the intervention of the Ministry of Information that the issue was settled in an acceptable manner. One wonders as to what are going to be the achievements of Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani during his tour of Britain when the Pakistanis were made aware of the British mindset more specifically and in advance, than that of their own prime minister. It is unfortunate that the British government reneged on some of its commitments made to the Government of Pakistan and withheld economic and military assistance at the behest of the Indian government on several previous occasions. The British government has also refused to open its markets for Pakistan's textile industry, besides imposing stiff tariffs on goods that are exported by Pakistan to Britain and other European countries. It will also be of interest to know that hundreds of Pakistani students failed to join their universities in time because of punitive restrictions imposed on their entry by the government of Britain under the stewardship of Mr Gordon Brown. It has also been reported that Pakistan intends to take up at the appropriate forum the demand made by Mr Brown for the arrest of Osama bin Laden who, according to Brown, is somewhere in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan. These remarks of the British prime minister have come at a time when a Congressional committee of the United States has released the report admitting that it was the failure on the part of the United States of not apprehending or killing Osama bin Laden in the year 2001 when he (Osama) left the caves of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. Perhaps Mr Gordon Brown wants to pull out his troops from Afghanistan where their performance has been classified as poor by the concerned commanders and in doing so the British prime minister wants to blame Pakistan for the failure of his army to discharge their duties for which they were sent to Afghanistan as a part of NATO forces. It would have been much better in case the British prime minister had provided concrete evidence to the government of Pakistan informing them of the whereabouts of Mr Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants and then waited for the response of the Government of Pakistan. While the Government of Pakistan has extended its operations from Malakand division to south Waziristan and the British were aware that the insurgents were on the run and had suffered substantially at the hands of Pakistani security forces; yet his demand for Pakistan to do more was nothing but an absurdity when compared with his own desire to pullout British forces from the war torn country. Mr Gordon Brown is also aware of the fact that Afghanistan, where his forces were stationed, provides safe havens to a large number of insurgents who were trained and funded by the Indian government with the knowledge of both the American and British governments and that both these governments have not moved an inch to tell the Indians off. Therefore, keeping in view the ground realities of the present insurgency and the attitude of both the British and American administrations, it is extremely unfair for the British prime minister to demand from Pakistan that it should commit more forces against elements of Al-Qaeda while at the same time they have taken up a position that virtually amounts to providing a helping hand to the cause of Mr Osama bin Laden not only in Afghanistan but also in some areas of this country. A vast majority of the people in this country strongly feel that the time has come for the Pakistani government to take up this issue of deception and duplicity with all the concerned governments which includes the Americans, the British and the Indians, so that the world at large knows the level of commitment of each country against the war against terror. It would therefore be safe to assume that during his visit to the United Kingdom, Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani will take up the issue of the recent outburst of Mr Gordon Brown and provide him with the factual picture of the ground situation so that the British government, instead of toeing the line of the Indian lobbies in its country, try to follow a more fair course in their diplomatic moves. The Government of Pakistan should also demand compensation from the British government for the losses incurred by the Pakistanis for fighting this war against terror and feeding millions of displaced persons first during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan and then the NATO occupation of that country. One hopes that the Pakistani prime minister will also forcefully present the case of Pakistani students who are deprived of higher education due to unfair restrictions imposed on them by the British government and also demand a fair share in the British market for Pakistani goods. Will all this be achieved during the present visit of Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani? The answer probably is going to be in the negative, keeping in view the one-track-mind policy of the British Prime Minister Mr Gordon Brown. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: