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Pakistani President: US drone strikes violate national sovereignty

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 5, IRNA -- President Asif Ali Zardari has told a visiting top American diplomat that the U.S. drone attacks are counter-productive, violating national sovereignty of Pakistan.

“Civilian casualties as a result of drone attacks caused deep resentment and fueled extremism and militancy,” President Zardari said in meeting with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides in Lahore.

President Zardari said that for long term and sustained Pakistan-US ties it was important that the relationship is based on transparency, mutual respect and mutual interest and is authenticated by the true representatives of the people.

Zardari said that Pakistan attached great importance to its relationship with United States and we have mutuality of interests to pursue.

He said that the government was awaiting completion of Parliamentary review process to reset the ties.

The president said that the democratic process may seem to be long and noisy but should be valued for being lasting and fruitful.

Discussing situation in Afghanistan, Zardari said that narco-trafficking and narco-financing were among the major challenges that needed to be tackled urgently.

He said that the international community and NATO/ISAF should address the issue of drugs and eliminate the funding source of militants.

He said that it was important that an incentivized framework is developed to attract multinationals to make investments in Afghanistan and the region.

Meanwhile, US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides said that the US recognizes Pakistan’s role in the fight against militants and wanted to restore multifaceted cooperation and relationship with Pakistan.

He said rebuilding the trust and confidence between the two countries was essential for pursuing common objectives.

Thomas Nides said that US respected the Parliamentary review process in Pakistan and looks forward to its early completion.
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80062648



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