'Scuttling talks': Pakistan registers its concerns over drones with US ambassador

Foreign Office says government's efforts for peace talks will continue despite "counter productive" drone strike.


Web Desk November 02, 2013
Foreign Office says Pakistan still has a policy that drone strikes are counter productive. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Terming drone strikes counter-productive to Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region, the Foreign Office on Saturday said that it had summoned the US ambassador and registered Pakistan’s concerns with him.

“In order to register our concerns, the US Ambassador was called to the Foreign Office by the Foreign Secretary to register our protest over the recent drone attacks,” a statement from the foreign office read.

The statement added that the government has condemned drone strikes whenever they have taken place per their publicly stated policy whereby drones strikes violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, violative of international humanitarian laws, besides being counter-productive to Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region.

“In accordance with our publicly stated, consistent policy, Pakistan has condemned drone strikes whenever they have taken place, including the two recent drone attacks that took place on Thursday and Friday.”

The statement added that the latest strikes, which reportedly killed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud, will have a negative impact on the government’s initiative to undertake a dialogue with the Taliban.

“The government, however, is determined to continue with these efforts to engage with the TTP, to bring an end to the ongoing violence and make them a part of mainstream politics within the parameters of our constitution.”

The statement followed a press briefing by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar where he said that the US Ambassador would be served a demarche over “ambushing peace talks” with the Taliban.

The statement dilated on the government’s decision to instruct Pakistan ambassadors in the capitals of the P-5 member states to call at an appropriate level to brief the host governments on Pakistan’s concerns, with specific reference to the setback caused to the peace process initiative by the latest drone attack.

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