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Pakistani President opposes US drone strikes

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 22, IRNA -- President Asif Ali Zardari said Sunday he is against US drone strikes in Pakistani tribal regions and said they are not helpful to fight armed militants.

Addressing a meeting of journalists in Islamabad, the President reiterated Pakistan's opposition to the US drone strikes in the country's tribal regions, and said, 'We have consistently opposed drone attacks and we will continue to oppose them. Drone attacks were a violation of our sovereignty and are counterproductive.'

He said, 'We will also not permit the militants use our territory to launch attack outside our borders.'

The President said that terrorist on both sides of the border kill the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan and that both people and the governments should join hands in eliminating the terrorists and their hideouts.

'Blame game will be counterproductive to the cause and will only strengthen the militants,' he said.

He said that war against terrorism will continue with conviction and national consensus, adding that terrorists want to impose their agenda by force‚ but they will not be allowed to succeed in their nefarious designs.

Referring to sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the war against terrorism‚ the President said the government has taken a firm stance against terrorism and developed consensus before the operations in Swat valley in 2009.

The President said all segments of the society need to join hands to defeat the mindset that attack innocent girls like the 14-year Malala Yousafzai, who was attacked and injured by Taliban gunmen in northwestern Swat valley on October 9.

“Attack on Malala was an attack on our values as well as the future of our new generation. Malala was attacked because she raised the flag of peace and education for children,” President Zardrai said.

The President said that the terrorist seek to impose their agenda by force which he said cannot be allowed under any circumstances; it will not be.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80381155

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