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PM Sharif opposes US drone strikes

PTI | Last Updated: Friday, November 22, 2013 - 18:06

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday expressed deep concern over a drone strike that killed six persons, including commanders of the Haqqani network, and said Pakistan had conveyed its opposition to the attacks to the US.

"We are really upset by the strikes...This is injustice against Pakistan," he said while speaking at the "National Consultation Conference - Pakistan Vision 2025".

In a rare strike outside Pakistan`s tribal areas, a drone yesterday targeted a seminary in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, killing six persons and injuring eight others.

In an apparent reference to his efforts to engage the Taliban in talks, Sharif said the government has opted for dialogue to deal with terrorism.

"We want the dialogue process to succeed but regrettably? a drone hit the tribal area when we are about to commence the dialogue process," he said, referring to another drone strike on November 1 that killed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

In response to cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan?s allegations that the government has a "dual policy" on drone strikes, Sharif said he did not have double standards.

"America knows that we are not the people who say one thing and do another," he said. He pointed out that he had brought up the issue of drones during a recent meeting with US President Barack Obama, who had acknowledged it "with a nod".

Sharif insisted drone attacks are inappropriate and against the sovereignty of Pakistan. "The government has always taken a forthright stance in condemning drone attacks. We condemn these acts from the core of our heart," he said.

The government wants to eliminate terrorism once and for all and it recently introduced several laws to give exemplary punishment to militants, he said.

First Published: Friday, November 22, 2013 - 18:06

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