Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has called on the United States to halt its drone attacks against al Qaeda and Taliban fighters on Pakistani soil and warned that the missile strikes were fuelling militarism in the country’s troubled tribal border region.
This comes amid what appears to be a media blitz by Pakistan’s President Zardari and former President Musharraf to get more funding for Pakistan from the U.S. Both men say Pakistan has been the number one ally of the U.S. in the anti-terror fight.
on Wednesday hit back against US , saying US missile strikes inside its borders were “counter-productive” to anti-terrorism efforts.
“Our policy remains unchanged and we believe drone strikes are counter-productive,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told AFP.
He was speaking in response to a statement from Gates that the United States would “go after Al-Qaeda wherever Al-Qaeda is” and affirming that the new US administration’s position had been transmitted to the Pakistani government.
“Both President (George W.) Bush and President (Barack) Obama have made clear we will go after Al-Qaeda wherever Al-Qaeda is, and we will continue to pursue that,” Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
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An unmanned Predator drone.(AFP/File/US Air Force)