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Pakistan wants end to US drone strikes: Minister

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 19:27

Islamabad: Pakistan wants the end of US drone strikes as well as the elimination of foreign terrorists operating from the country`s soil, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said on Saturday.

Pakistan also wants end to all disputes with India and the US through dialogue, he said.

"I want an end to drones but I want the elimination of foreign terrorists operating from my homeland against other countries also," he said.

Rashid`s comments came days after a rare US drone attack outside Pakistan`s tribal areas killed six persons, including three commanders of the dreaded Haqqani terror network. The Foreign Office has strongly condemned the strike that targeted a madrassa and demanded the halting of the drone campaign.

The soft-spoken Rashid said foreign terrorists were responsible for killing thousands in Pakistan. The country was in dire need of peace as it could not afford war-mongering and violence, he added.

"The problem cannot be solved by waging a war against the US or the Taliban. Peace dialogue and negotiations are the only solutions," he said while talking to the media.

The world had brought all wars to an end after 1945 and Pakistanis too want a good future for their children which is possible only through peace, he added.

Referring to the opposition Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf`s protest against drone attacks, Rashid said Pakistan was a democratic country and everyone has the right to protest.

The Tehrik-e-Insaf has the right to protest but there should not be contradiction in its words and deeds, he said.

"(Tehrik-e-Insaf chief) Imran Khan`s heart beats for the Taliban but his sword serves the US," Rashid claimed. Khan should refuse US aid if he wants an end to drone attacks, he added.

He said projects worth millions of dollars were being run with US aid in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which is ruled by the Tehrik-e-Insaf.

First Published: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 19:27

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