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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan to lodge protest with U.S over drone attacks: spokesman

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 3, IRNA -- Pakistan will lodge protest with the United States over the drone strikes inside the country’s tribal regions, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.

The statement came a day after a U.S missile strike killed at least 12 people including women and children in Orakzai tribal region.

U.S drones regularly fire missiles in tribal regions to hit targets of suspected militants and recent reports said that the U.S plans to expand the attacks to southwestern Balochisran province.

The new CIA Chief said in February that the policy of drone attacks will continue.

“Pakistan intends to make demarche to the United States on the issue,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told press briefing.

“Pakistan would raise the issue with American special envoy Richard Holbrooke, who is scheduled to visit Pakistan next week,” he said.

He said drone attacks are violation of Pakistan's sovereignty, counter productive and not helpful in our efforts to win hearts and minds.

To a question the spokesman expressed the confidence that the Kerry-Lugar bill for economic assistance of Pakistan would be presented in the US Congress when it re-convenes after recess.

Pakistan seeks $1.5 billion dollars annually and President Obama said last month that the aid would be conditional with Pakistan’s effective fight against militants.

He said Pakistan was looking forward to its engagement with the United States in order to formulate fresh approaches to addressing the challenge.

He said Pakistan has been able to develop a good cooperative framework with Afghanistan to deal with immediate issues of security, counter-terrorism and to move towards a robust economic partnership.

He said that China, Iran and other friends having geographical contiguity with Afghanistan can all together join efforts to overcome the challenges and forge a strong commitment to a prosperous future for our region.

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