Unmanned war: Pakistan hopes for ‘acceptable’ deal

Published: August 25, 2012
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Foreign office spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan said Islamabad had other options available to convince the US administration into ceasing unilateral strikes on Pakistani territory. At the moment, the government is trying to resolve the issue at a bilateral level. DESIGN: JAMAL KHURSHID

Foreign office spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan said Islamabad had other options available to convince the US administration into ceasing unilateral strikes on Pakistani territory. At the moment, the government is trying to resolve the issue at a bilateral level. DESIGN: JAMAL KHURSHID

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan has said that it hopes to cut a “mutually acceptable” deal with the United States on its contentious drone campaign in the tribal belt.

The two countries are discussing a slew of proposals to find a solution to the CIA-led campaign, which has been a major irritant in their troubled diplomatic relations.

“We hope to come up with a mutually acceptable solution to this issue,” Foreign Office spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan told a weekly press briefing in Islamabad on Friday. He did not elaborate.

Khan’s statement came a day after the Foreign Office summoned a senior US diplomat to protest the recent surge in drone attacks.

In the past, Pakistan offered to carry out surgical strikes against “high-value” targets using its F-16 fighter jets as an alternative to drone strikes.

The United States showed little interest in the offer, mainly due to a trust deficit between the two countries and their intelligence agencies.

When asked, Khan said Islamabad had other options available to convince the US administration into ceasing unilateral strikes on Pakistani territory. At the moment, the government is trying to resolve the issue at a bilateral level.

The US appears to have no immediate plans to cease drone strikes, as it considers the campaign crucial for eliminating high-profile al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

Responding to a question regarding former ambassador Hussain Haqqani’s comments at a Washington think tank on Thursday, the spokesperson differed with the assessment that Pakistan and the US should “stop pretending they are allies and amicably divorce”.

“We think there is a desire on both sides to have this relationship moved forward on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest,” he added.

‘Assam unrest’

The spokesperson rejected India’s allegations that Pakistan was using social media to stoke communal tension in the volatile region of Assam.

“We reject such insinuations and we find them baseless and unfounded. We have asked them that if they have any credible information … they are most welcome to share it with us,” he said.

Last week, Indian Home Secretary R K Singh blamed Pakistan-based elements for uploading inflammatory and objectionable content on the Internet that painted an exaggerated picture of the recent violence in Assam.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • John B
    Aug 25, 2012 - 6:29AM

    PAK already played her trump card by closing NATO supply line but to no avail. What other options he is talking about.

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  • True Voice of Pakistan
    Aug 25, 2012 - 9:11AM

    Pakistan should agree to launch this drone strikes with full cooperation…..In last 3 drone strikes some foreign terrorist commanders died….NOW QUESTION ARISES….Isn’t it violation of Pakistani territory by foreign militants….

    It is an urgent need for Pakistan to cooperate and destroy the training camps in border region…otherwise, it will be too late, and we will see higher statistics of death tolls of innocent pakistanis in the hands on inhuman terrorists…..or so-called “custodians of Religion”…Illiterate ignorants….

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  • vasan
    Aug 25, 2012 - 11:41AM

    What is the asking price by Pakistan.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Aug 25, 2012 - 1:55PM

    What deal ? There is nothing to deal about ! Take it or leave it, as that opportunity has passed by for Pakistan !
    US will continue its own program of Drone Strikes within Pakistan to eradicate the terror elements that Pakistan has simply refuse to deal with them !

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  • Khattak
    Aug 25, 2012 - 3:05PM

    The only option is to stop sponsering Jihadis groups for achievement of foreign policy objectives and as a conventional force. The world will accept nothing short than international guarentee with UN as brooker. Until that happen, there is no convergance of mutual interest happening & people of Pakistan will suffer every day terror & sucide bombing.

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  • Shafiq Nasery
    Aug 25, 2012 - 3:28PM

    are they looking to make even more from the death of its people. like ok you guys were paying us 5000 per head now its 10 fold give us 50000 and US will settle like in 20000 but people will still die.

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  • The Truth
    Aug 25, 2012 - 3:47PM

    True Voice of Pakistan… You are not the true voice of Pakistan. The true voice of Pakistan is that the drone strikes should halt immediately. USA is just killing innocent Muslims all over the world. It plays double game with you. It attacks you in the form of Taliban and they attack again saying that it is targeting high value target. Oh Allah when will my nation understand and stop help these …Recommend

  • BaBa Blacksheep
    Aug 25, 2012 - 7:55PM

    All the Pakistani want to root up these Taliban or jihadis groups.If Pak.Govt is bit shy or incompetent to do so then i donn`t care who does it.

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  • Polpot
    Aug 26, 2012 - 4:49AM

    Unmanned war: Pakistan hopes for ‘acceptable’ deal””
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    So the Pakistani foreign policy is now based on hope?
    Bob Hope?

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  • azeem khalid
    Aug 26, 2012 - 1:25PM

    @ baba blacksheep and @ true voice

    Amazing gentleman… Just remember 99 percent dying in these attacks are civillians, by no means USA, u guys or any sensible commentator can justify it. All sufferings are for pakistan, if u want to be the true voice of pakistan then be REALISTIC…Recommend

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