DUBAI: Pakistan’s spy chief will call for an end to US drone strikes in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and push for a sharing of technology and intelligence during a visit to Washington this week, the country’s interior minister said on Monday.
Lieutenant-General Zaheer ul-Islam’s visit to meet CIA director General David Petraeus will be his first since he became head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in March and follows a thaw in relations between Pakistan and the United States.
Pakistan, however, continues to insist US drone strikes – which it says are a breach of its sovereignty – must end.
“We will push for no drones. If we (Pakistan and the US) are partners, we should sit together and have a common strategy. However, in this regional war there has been no common strategy against a common enemy,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told a news conference in Dubai.
“I hope the visit of the director of the ISI will have good results. There is some dialogue going on as we speak,” he said. The United States has given no sign it is willing to halt the drone strikes.
“Both countries have to find a mid-way,” Malik told reporters. “This of course means intelligence-sharing. Also, give us the technology and we will use it. The US has given us F16s. Are we misusing it?” He gave no further details but Pakistan has long asked the United States to provide it with its own drones for use in its tribal areas.