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Pak may say 'NO' to drone hits in NWA
Thu, Nov 25, 2010
The Nation/Asia News Network

ISLAMABAD - In a major policy shift, Pakistan is likely to say 'NO' to the US over its CIA-operated drone strikes in North Waziristan Agency, thus bringing an end to the policy of former military ruler General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Well-placed sources told The Nation on Wednesday that Islamabad has decided in principle to convey Washington that it does not desire unabated drone strikes, and would rather like to tackle terrorism related challenges on its own.

When approached, the US Embassy spokesman expressed his ignorance about these developments. However, the government and military sources were of the firm opinion that the US drone strikes had aggravated the problem.

"The US might have achieved tactical gains through the drone strikes, but they too had caused enormous damage to Pakistan's efforts towards fighting the terrorism", military chief spokesperson Major General Ather Abbas told The Nation on Wednesday.

He was of the view that the Pakistan Army does not support US drone strikes, and has always sought to secure the US drone technology to effectively tackle the challenge without any collateral damage.

However, these efforts, he said, had not borne fruits so far.

In a related development, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense headed by PPP MNA Azra Afzal Wednesday took serious view of the media reports that US was seeking to expand drone attacks in Quetta.

The committee, which met at the Parliament House, sought a candid clarification from the Interior, Foreign and Defence Ministries by Dec 7. The committee also directed for a special briefing on ISI role in the war on terror.

The committee members, while taking serious notice of reports of US intention to expand its drone strikes to Quetta, were furious that Pakistan's sovereignty and security is continuously being violated in the name of war on terror.

They were of the view that the entire nation was united against drone attacks and the government instead of adopting apologetic attitude should adopt a categorical stance that the US drone strikes were totally unacceptable to the people of Pakistan.

-- The Nation/Asia News Network

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