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PM demands an end to US drone attacks in Pakistan

December 06, 2012

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. -File Photo
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. -File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday demanded an end to US drone attacks in Pakistan in a meeting with the United States Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson in Islamabad, DawnNews reported.

The Pakistani prime minister’s call against the covert CIA drone campaign comes the same day a US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fired missiles at a compound in North Waziristan, killing at least three suspected militants.

US-Pakistan bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting, sources said.

According to the sources, PM Ashraf expressed his concerns regarding the drone attacks and said that the attacks were harmful and ineffective. He demanded that the US end its drone attacks on Pakistani soil.

He further said that alternative methods should be used to eliminate terrorism.

He also said that Pakistan was fighting to eliminate terrorism from its soil and would not rest unless it had been successful.

US Ambassador Olson took note of the concerns put forward by PM Ashraf and assured him that US authorities would be informed about their concerns.

Olson added that the US valued the sacrifices made be Pakistani public. He also said that US aimed to have long-term bilateral relations based on mutual respect with Pakistan.

The covert US attacks are believed to be unpopular in Pakistan, where the government has also criticised them as a violation of its sovereignty, but American officials believe they are a vital weapon against extremist Taliban and al Qaeda militants launching attacks in Afghanistan.