Pakistan summoned Britain's envoy in Islamabad yesterday over comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron suggesting it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, officials said.
Adam Thomson, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, was summoned to the foreign ministry to clarify remarks Cameron made during a visit to India last week, a Pakistani official said.
The comments caused anger in Pakistan and the country's spy chief cancelled a trip to Britain in protest, though President Asif Ali Zardari still plans to visit Britain later this week.
A British Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that Thomson was meeting Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the request of Pakistan's foreign ministry but gave no further details.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron stands by comments on Pakistan and the export of terror which sparked a row with Islamabad, his spokeswoman said Monday before a visit by Pakistan's president.
"He stands by his remarks," said the spokeswoman, while stressing that the British premier had not been referring to the Pakistani government itself supporting terrorism.
"He was referring to elements within Pakistan supporting terrorism, not the Pakistani government," she said, after Britain's high commissioner to Islamabad was summoned to the Pakistan foreign ministry.
Relations between London and Islamabad soured last week when David Cameron said Pakistan could not be permitted to "look both ways" in promoting the export of terror while publicly working for stability in the region.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is due to arrive in Britain from France on Tuesday for a visit lasting several days, and will meet Cameron at his country residence outside London Friday.
The spokeswoman insisted that there were "very good, strong" links between Britain and Pakistan on many levels, adding: "We want to continue to work very closely with Pakistan in the future."
She also said Cameron had acknowledged that Pakistan was "taking action against extremism."
"The Pakistanis face very big challenges, that is well known and the prime minister is looking forward to discussing those with President Zardari on Friday," the spokeswoman said.
Asked how Cameron felt about effigies of him being burnt in the street by protestors in Pakistan, she added: "Clearly people have a right to protest but as I say we have very good, strong relations with Pakistan.
"They face many challenges and we want to work with them".
Cameron, speaking last Wednesday in India, Pakistan's archrival, told Islamabad it must not become a base for militants and "promote the export of terror" across the globe.
Images of protesters in Karachi burning an effigy of Cameron in protest at his comments have received widespread television coverage in Britain.
Pakistan's envoy to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, said he had personally dissuaded Britons of Pakistani descent from demonstrating against Cameron's remarks before Zardari's visit.
The Pakistani leader is due to travel to London from Paris, where he arrived on Sunday for talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy on security and economic issues as part of a three-day visit.