Pak Prez to ask for drone technology during US visit

Asif Ali Zardari will visit the US at the end of February or in early March.

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is likely to seek drone technology from the US during his official visit to America at the end of February or in early March, a media report said.

Zardari will hold meetings with President Barack Obama and other US leaders.

"The President will visit the US by the end of February or in early March," Dawn quoted presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar as saying on Sunday.

Zardari recently returned from an unofficial visit to the US where he had gone to attend the memorial service for Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The media report said that though the trip was not official, Zardari called on Obama for an informal meeting that lasted for 40 minutes.

Babar said the meeting between Zardari and Obama focused on the efforts the two countries had made in the war on terror and its fallout on Pakistan`s economy.

At the forthcoming talks, Pakistan is likely to press for the transfer of drone technology.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said his country has asked the US to share its drone technology so as to enable Pakistan`s military to hit more militant hideouts on its own.

"We have asked the US to hand over the drone technology to us, so that we can carry out these strikes ourselves," said Gilani.

The US` pilotless drones have been carrying out strikes in Pakistan`s restive tribal region near Afghanistan border, targeting al Qaeda and Taliban hideouts since 2004. Several high-profile targets, including former Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, have been killed in these attacks.


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