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Pakistan says will take up drone strikes issue with US

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 30, IRNA -- Pakistan said on Monday that the issue of American drone strikes will be taken up with the U.S. authorities a day after a spy aircraft killed at least four people in North Waziristan tribal region.

A U.S. spy aircraft Sunday fired two missiles on a house in Miranshah, main town in North Waziristan tribal. It was second U.S. strike in North Waziristan in a month.

Four people were killed in a strike on March 30.

“The matter will be taken up through diplomatic channels both in Islamabad and Washington,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns the US drone attack that occurred in North Waziristan,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

“Such attacks are in total contravention of international law and established norms of interstate relations,” it said.

The statement said the Government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that drone attacks are violative of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The latest strike was the first after the Pakistani parliament this month approved guidelines for relationship with the U.S., calling for immediate halt to American strikes.

President Asif Ali Zardari reiterated the demand in his meeting with the U.S. special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Marc Grossman in Islamabad a few days ago.

The U.S. has so far rejected calls from Pakistan to stop drone strikes and the latest strike shows that Washington is in no mood to change policy on these strikes.

Americans insist that the CIA-run strikes are effective to eliminate al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. Pakistanis say that drone strikes are counter productive, kill civilians, increase anti-US sentiments and create problems for the government.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80104844

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