Drone strikes a ‘major irritant’ in relations: Nawaz

Prime Minister says drones strikes violated Pakistan's territorial integrity.


Web Desk/afp October 22, 2013
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaking at the US Institute of Peace. PHOTO: S. Kleine-Ahlbrandt-TWITTER

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday called for the United States to end drone strikes, saying they violated his country's territorial integrity, and were a “major irritant” in relations between the two countries.

Nawaz, who is on a visit to Washington on the heels of a major Amnesty International report on drones, told an audience at the US Institute of Peace think tank that the attacks posed a "major" impediment to relations with the United States.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday called for the United States to end drone strikes, saying they violated his country's territorial integrity, and were a “major irritant” in relations between the two countries.

Nawaz, who is on a visit to Washington on the heels of a major Amnesty International report on drones, told an audience at the US Institute of Peace think tank that the attacks posed a "major" impediment to relations with the United States. He refuted the notion that Pakistan was an epicenter of terrorism, insisting that Pakistan has been affected badly by terrorism and pointed to the deaths of over 40,000 citizens in the ongoing fight.

Dilating on “Pakistan’s vision for regional peace and development,” Nawaz stated that all political parties in Pakistan agreed that drones violate the territorial integrity of the country and are counterproductive to peace building measures.

Pakistan-Afghanistan

With US troops scheduled to vacate Afghanistan in 2014, the Prime Minister reiterated that a stable and prosperous western neighbour is in the interest of Pakistan. Nawaz said he had assured President Karzai that “Pakistan does not wish to interfere in Afghan internal affairs”.

The premier also promised $450 million for rebuilding in Afghanistan as well as a plan to extend the Karachi-Peshawar highway to Kabul.

Issues with India can be talked out

With concerns over the recent spike in violent activity along the disputed Line of Control that has threatened to turn relations between nuclear tipped neighbours Pakistan and India sour, Nawaz offered a possible route to deflate tensions.

“With India we would like to pick up the threads from where we left in 1999 and seriously address our issues.”

At the top of the issues that Nawaz said he wants to pick up is the longstanding dispute over Kashmir, one that has already seen the two countries go to war twice. But Nawaz, who was prime minister when Pakistan last entered in to a major conflict with India over Kashmir, said that both countries need to sit down and seriously address the matter through dialogue.

 

COMMENTS (22)

Dr.A.K.Tewari | 8 years ago | Reply

The asked question is selfexplaining in nature . The use of Drone is not being opposed by all the five members of the security council on the floor of UN since all of them are suffering from terrorism originating from Pakistan . No one will use her VITO power on this issue .

imran bhatt | 8 years ago | Reply

Petty the nation whenever its PM speaks anything regarding terrorism he sounds more like representing TTP rather then the state of Pakistan. This genius thinks that having hub of global terrorism within his countries border is no irritant between the US and Pakistan.

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