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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan says U.S drone attacks violation of country's sovereignty

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 28, IRNA -- Attacks by American drones on the Pakistan's tribal regions are violation of the country's sovereignty, a cabinet minister said in the parliament on Wednesday.

U.S drones regularly conduct missile strikes on Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan, which Washington says aimed at targeting al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

Officials say that U.S carried out around 50 missile strikes on Pakistan last year, killing majority civilians.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that the United States would continue drone strikes at suspected militants' targets inside the tribal regions and has conveyed its decision to the government of Pakistan.

"Drone attacks are violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and diplomatic channels are being mobilised to get them stopped," Leader of the majority party in the Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said.

He was responding to a point of order raised by opposition senator Khurshid Ahmed about the latest statement of American Secretary of Defence Robert Gates on the issue.

"The United States has not officially communicated anything in this regard to Pakistan," Rabbani said. He however categorically stated that Pakistan will not tolerate violation of its territory and every Pakistani is determined to defend the country.

Rabbani reiterated the position of the government that actionable intelligence, if any, should be provided to Pakistan for necessary action by our own security agencies.

He said steps at diplomatic level are being taken and the President himself has talked to foreign diplomats urging them that their governments should use their good offices for stoppage of these attacks.

Rabbani said Pakistan can exercise all options if drone attacks continued.

Earlier the Foreign Ministry said that there is no agreement with the United States on drone attacks on the country's tribal regions.

"There is no understanding between Pakistan and the United States on predator attacks," Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in response to a question regarding U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gate's statement on US drone attacks inside Pakistan's territory.

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