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Zardari: US drone attacks unacceptable
Wed, 20 Apr 2011 14:12:20 GMT
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Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says non-UN-sanctioned US drone strikes in his country are severely harming Pakistan-US ties, insisting that the drone bombings undermine anti-terror efforts.

Zardari made the remarks on Tuesday in a meeting with US Ambassador Cameron Munter in Islamabad, a day before a visit to the country by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Mullen will visit Islamabad on Wednesday for talks with Pakistani leaders amid a series of diplomatic rows, including a conflict over the scale of unauthorized CIA drone operations in Pakistan.

The Pakistani president said the nation had been paying a heavy price in the war against terrorism both in terms of human and material losses.

Pakistan has repeatedly criticized the attacks as violations of the country's sovereignty.

Washington, on the other hand, defends the strikes as necessary to fight the militants it claims to have holed up.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that Washington should better share its intelligence with Islamabad so that Pakistanis can take action against militants on their own.

US drone attacks have killed scores of people so far this year. Last year alone, some 1,200 Pakistanis lost their lives in over 100 such strikes, reports say.

The strikes have further fueled the anti-US sentiment already on the rise in the region.

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