Pakistan reiterates drone opposition as US envoy visits

Published: April 26, 2012
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Marc Grossman (L), the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks to journalists with Pakistan's foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani (R) during a joint press conference in Islamabad on April 26, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

Marc Grossman (L), the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks to journalists with Pakistan's foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani (R) during a joint press conference in Islamabad on April 26, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman along with a delegation of US officials called on Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at General Headquarters. PHOTO: ISPR Marc Grossman (L), the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, talks to journalists with Pakistan's foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani (R) during a joint press conference in Islamabad on April 26, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad on Thursday reiterated its opposition to US drone attacks in its territory as Washington’s point man on Pakistan and Afghanistan arrived amid efforts to mend fractured relations.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States plunged last year over the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan and a Nato air strike near the border with Afghanistan that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Marc Grossman, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, held talks with officials Thursday during his first visit to the country since a parliamentary review ordered in the wake of the air strike.

While drone attacks appear to be in a lull, the United States has been enthusiastic about such unmanned attacks on militants deep in Pakistani territory. Pakistan says the strikes kill civilians and fuel resentment.

In guidelines approved by parliament earlier this month, Pakistan called for an unconditional US apology over the air raid deaths, a ban on transporting weapons through the country and an end to drone strikes.

“We consider drones as illegal, non-productive and accordingly unacceptable,” Pakistan’s foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said at a joint news conference with Grossman.

“This is an issue which also has been discussed at the highest civilian and military leadership.”

He said that Pakistan expected talks with US officials to lead to a solution under the guidelines set by parliament.

Grossman offered condolences for the air raid deaths but not an apology, and on the drone issue said both Pakistan and the US faced threats from al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Pakistan closed its borders to convoys supplying Nato troops in Afghanistan in the wake of the November air strikes, and Jilani said a new arrangement would need to be worked out.

Grossman said the US was ready for talks on re-opening the supply lines and clearing outstanding payments to Pakistan to meet the expenses of military operations in its tribal areas to fight Taliban and al Qaeda militants.

“We are ready to get to the work. We want to work to reopen the ground lines of communication. We want to discuss several outstanding claims for the coalition support fund (CSF),” Grossman said.

Grossman said the United Stated wanted to increase market access and economic opportunity and wanted a stable Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Grossman meets Kayani

The US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman, heading a high level delegation called on the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

They held talks on the subject of bilateral relations, covering a wide range of security issues in line with the guidelines for re-engagement with the United States as decided by the Parliamentary review.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Apr 26, 2012 - 7:01PM

    nothing new will happen

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  • Bhindian
    Apr 26, 2012 - 7:33PM

    “We consider drones as illegal, non-productive and accordingly unacceptable,” Then shoot em down

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  • arif
    Apr 26, 2012 - 7:34PM

    All topi drama,people suffer and rulers enjoy.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 26, 2012 - 10:31PM

    The Drones whould continue their targeted work as long as a single terrorist is on Pakistani soil. Thanks for saving Paksitani civilians from these terrorists. If we are serious we woud do our job and the US would have no reason or excuse to waste their time and money.

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  • Abbotabad.
    Apr 27, 2012 - 1:51AM

    why dont shot them down and why apology just for jaawans but not for drones killings.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Apr 27, 2012 - 2:29AM

    Marc Grossman visits Pakistan for couple od days, Hillary Clinton due to arrive in India today for couple of days. Fortunes have reveresed.

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  • Pollack
    Apr 27, 2012 - 4:16AM

    @Bhindian: “then shoot them down”

    Pak army maybe unwise and incompetent but not stupid or suicidal. They know the consequences if they do that. By the way, does Pakistan have a missile shield?

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  • Jamset Ram Sing
    Apr 27, 2012 - 3:12PM

    @Pollack:
    Dear Pollack,
    I think we can be reasonably certain that you and your loved ones are not in the firing line of American drones!.

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  • Paul Felix Schott
    Apr 28, 2012 - 1:53AM

    I do wish we could get a million Americans to hold up our Bibles and take a photo of that and send it to all the wicked in the world with a a big sign sayings get to know our Lord GOD and Savior Jesus Christ before it is to late. Then HE will say I Know you not.

    Read The Bible.

    The Lord’s little Helper.
    Paul Felix Schott.

    PS
    GOD Bless you and may he guide and watch over you and your love ones

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