Controversial US campaign: PM calls for alternatives to drone war

Published: December 7, 2012

Expresses concern to United States Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson.

ISLAMABAD: 

Hours after a US drone fired two missiles at a compound in North Waziristan, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf expressed his concern over the controversial US drone campaign in Pakistan’s tribal region, saying the countries should lean towards alternative methods to eliminate terrorism from the region.

The covert US attacks are unpopular in Pakistan, where the government criticises them as a violation of sovereignty but American officials believe they are a vital weapon against tackling militants in the region.

“They are counterproductive and we need to find alternative means to eliminate terrorists,” said Ashraf during his maiden meeting with United States Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson.

During the meeting, Ashraf raised the issue of drone strikes against the backdrop of a fresh drone hit on a compound located in North Waziristan’s Mir Ali area.

The prime minister said the security situation has improved considerably since 2008, when the media was rife with reports that terrorists were near Islamabad, adding that the current government with the support of the people, international community and law enforcement agencies had succeeded in pushing these terrorist back.

“We are fighting against those who attack our mosques, schools, cantonments and innocent civilians and children … We know we have to do a lot, but we will wipe them out,” said Ashraf.

The US ambassador took note of the premier’s concerns and said he would convey them to US authorities. Olson said the US acknowledges the sacrifices and contribution rendered by the people of Pakistan, adding that the international community does not appreciate Pakistan’s contributions “as much as it should”.

Ashraf also endorsed recent interactions between the two countries at different levels, while Olson said the United States was committed to a long term relationship with Pakistan, based on “mutual respect and common interest”. The premier congratulated Olson on his appointment in Pakistan and expressed hope that relations between Pakistan and US would be further strengthened during his tenure.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Rana
    Dec 7, 2012 - 10:00AM

    The guy appears to be enjoying his post!

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  • thoughtful
    Dec 7, 2012 - 11:32AM

    The alternative to drones is simple. Enforce the writ of the State in the tribal areas.

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  • Enlightened
    Dec 7, 2012 - 12:35PM

    Mr Ashraf, the only alternative left with US now shall be to launch an operation in NW which your military are either too afraid or reluctant to conduct to save the strategic assets and the same may not be acceptable to Pakistan. However, your govt has the alternative to hand over the entire NW province to militants as your writ does not run in this region and as such no consensus can be reached without approval of the military which is unlikely.

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  • Dec 7, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Repeatedly requested for but they igmored.
    They are not ready to accepte Pakistan’s stance on the issue.

    Peace process is gong on.
    the same is being inflicted under the particular mind set.

    Pakistan’s sacrifices,
    releasing Taliban from country’s jails,efforts being made to bring Taliban on the negotiating table all looks fruitless due to Americab behave.

    They say,they do,there is unbridgeable distance in between.Perhapse it is a part of American diplomacy,what kind of diplomacy,it is called hypocrisy.

    In fact,this friendship has taken us at the verge of destruction economically,if we,as a nation want bright future then it is indispensable to bring fundamental changes in our national policies with the election of able leadership.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 9, 2012 - 9:46PM

    The only alternatives is to fire holy Rials.

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  • Abu Hafsa Al Yammani
    Dec 9, 2012 - 9:50PM

    @Sultan Ahmed: Ummah should make a BAD-DUA against drones. That is the most effective way.

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