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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan admits differences with US over drone attacks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 16, IRNA - Pakistan on Thursday admitted that it has differences with the United States over the sensitive issue of drone attacks into its territory.

Responding to question during weekly news briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit rejected speculations that there was any tacit understanding on the issue between the two countries.

US drone aircraft regularly carry out strikes in the tribal regions despite Pakistan’s protest and the new CIA chief said in February that drone attacks will not be stopped.

Recent reports in American media suggested that the U.S will expand its missile strikes to Balochistan as Washington thinks that Taliban-linked militants have moved to the area.

US has already expanded drone attacks from Waziristan regions to other tribal regions--Kurram and Orakzai agencies.

“Pakistani leadership has stated in categorical terms that there were gaps in our position and that of the United States over drone attacks,” the foreign ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman agreed to a questioner that there were extraneous conditions to the draft aid bill for Pakistan introduced in the US House of Representatives.

“These conditions were not in sync with our mutual desire to forge a long term partnership, which anchored in mutual respect and mutual interests”.

Abdul Basit, however, said the draft bill has to go through different stages and Pakistan was in touch with the US authorities as well as legislators on the issue.

He also pointed out that another version of the draft has been introduced in the U.S Senate by John Kerry and in case of divergence the two bills would go to a conference of the two houses for consideration.

To a question he said the recently promulgated Islamic laws in parts of northwest were part of the efforts of the Government to promote national reconciliation and three 'Ds' (Dialogue, Development and Deterrence) strategy to combat terrorism and extremism.

He said the Regulation had the backing of the National Assembly and a vast majority of people and it will help bring about peace and prosperity in the region.

Replying to another question, the spokesman said Pakistan was in touch with the United Kingdom over the issue of detention of Pakistani students in that country.

"Pakistan is seeking details about the detained students and consular access to them".

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