ISLAMABAD: As the US President plans to step up the controversial drone programme, President Asif Ali Zardari termed the strikes, consequently the strategy not only counterproductive, but also undermining the cooperative equation of Pakistan and United States.
He was meeting with a US Congressional delegation headed by Representative Todd Platts on Tuesday.
The delegation had called on Zardari at the Aiwan-e-Sadr to discuss Pakistan-US bilateral relations, war against militants and the overall regional situation.
During the meeting, the President reiterated his call for the two sides to work closely in bridging the trust deficit, cooperating with each other on clearly defined parameters on the basis of mutual interest and respect.
He added that Pakistan was committed to having a strong, sustainable and enduring relationship with the US that is based on principles of mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty.
Speaking on the Salala incident, he also expressed the hope that the US would show greater understanding for the sentiments of the people of Pakistan who were greatly hurt by the Salala incident, wherein 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an ‘friendly fire’ from Nato forces on November 26, 2011.
Discussing the regional situation, the President reiterated that a genuine reconciliation process in Afghanistan which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned was the only viable solution to the Afghan conflict and all efforts should be focused on promoting an Afghan all-inclusive reconciliation process.
Representative Platts said the US wanted to re-engage Pakistan and help its people in all possible ways.
The US delegation included Representative Stephen Lynch, Rep. Glenn Thompson, Rep. Tom Marino, Rep John Fleming, and Rep. Jack Kingston. US Ambassador Cameron P Munter and other US officials also attended the meeting.
The Pakistani delegation included Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Interior Advisor Rehman Malik, Secretary General Salman Faruqui, Senator Sughra Imam, Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi, Acting Foreign Secretary Fouzia Sana and Additional Secretary Foreign Affairs Asif Durrani.