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Pak army chief slams US drone strikes
Thu, 21 Apr 2011 09:56:09 GMT
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American Predator drone firing a Hellfire missile (file photo)
Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said the unauthorized US drone strikes in Pakistan are undermining the Asian country's counter-terrorism efforts.

Kayani made the remark during a meeting with visiting Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

“Drone strikes are not only undermining our national effort against terrorism but turn public support against our efforts, which remains the key to success,” Kayani said.

The Pakistani official's condemnation of the unauthorized US drone strikes comes while US officials insist that the United States will carry on with the drone attacks in Pakistan.

In his twenty second visit to Pakistan, Mullen arrived in the Asian country on Wednesday for talks on security issues, focusing on the anti-terror war and the easing of tensions between Islamabad and Washington.

On Tuesday, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said the unauthorized US drone strikes were unacceptable and were severely harming Pakistan-US ties.

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 unauthorized US drone 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.

The 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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