PRESIDENT Asif Zardari refused to address a joint press conference with visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, instead leaving him to do so with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. While Mr Gilani is the appropriate person with whom Mr Gordon Brown should address a joint press conference, precedent had the President present on such occasions, and his absence has been given much significance. The main problem between the UK and Pakistan, apart from the War on Terror, is the Pakistani students acquitted of terrorism, yet still to be deported, even though their student visas are all valid. Their fate should not affect diplomacy between the two countries, but should be settled as soon as possible. The UK authorities should charge them, and they should be tried on those charges, and only then should the question arise of any deportation or whether they should serve out their sentences in the UK. If the case against them is not established, then they would be acquitted, and in that case, there should be no question of their being deported as long as they were fulfilling the conditions of their visas. British fair play demands no less, and the War on Terror is no excuse. Pakistan is taking so much trouble in this case because none of the charges has any proof, and it is being used as an excuse for deportation on unproven charges. It is something where the British are needlessly prolonging the situation, even though its repercussions have reached the President of Pakistan. The British and Pakistani relationship, however, is not restricted to the fate of the students. Britain is also providing aid for anti-terrorist training for the Pakistani forces, and is also playing a key enabling role in Pakistan's attempts at improving trade relations with the European Union. For that, Pakistan is grateful, though it also notes that this too is linked to Pakistani cooperation in the War on Terror, in which the British role is that of an American camp follower.