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Nawaz says US drone attacks have to be stopped

March 30, 2012

PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD : PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif told US Ambassador Cameron Munter on Friday that a continuation of drone attacks would seriously undermine Pakistan-US relations.

Mr Munter called on Mr Sharif after the latter had presided over a consultative meeting of his party.

When the ambassador raised the issue of PML-N’s objections to some of the recommendations made by a parliamentary committee, Mr Sharif said drone attacks were of one of the main obstacle to normalisation of ties with the US.

Meanwhile, PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters that the parliamentary committee’s recommendations were the only issue discussed at the party’s consultative meeting.

He said that at least five of the 16 proposals — end to drone strikes, no boots on ground and no hot pursuit, civil nuclear energy deal, trial of those involved in the Salala attack and specifying Pakistan’s role in parleys with Taliban — would be of benefit to Pakistan if implemented and not shelved like the two previous resolutions of parliament’s joint session and two of the all parties conference.

“We do not want a declaration of war against the United States, but we will continue to assert our viewpoint about independence and sovereignty of the country,” he said.

He said the PML-N supported the positive clauses but had doubts about their implementation. He said he feared that Nato supplies would be restored not in months and weeks but in days, while the five main clauses would not be implemented.

He said the government’s coalition partners also supported PML-N’s stance.

He objected to proposals calling for ‘transparency’ in matters relating to allowing foreign intelligence operatives and security contractors in Pakistan and giving bases to foreign countries after parliament’s approval and said there could be no debate on these issues because there was no room for allowing covert operations of foreign intelligence agencies in Pakistan ad giving bases to any country.