Obama using drones for political gains: Gilani
Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that US President Barack Obama is using drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions for political motives, Xinhua reported.
Gilani's statement came Sunday, a day after Obama reportedly ordered a "sharp increase" in drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas in recent months.
"The United States is into the election year and Obama's decision has been aimed at gaining political mileage," said Gilani during a press conference in Lahore city.
On Thursday, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta stated in Kabul that the US was running out of patience with Pakistan. He alleged that the country was being used as a safe haven by insurgents from neighbouring Afghanistan. Pakistan rejected this claim.
A day earlier in New Delhi, Panetta had said that the US would continue drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions.
Gilani, referring to the need to shed US assistance and become a self-reliant nation, said that economic self-reliance was very essential as a nation.
He said presently Pakistan was maintaining cordial political and trade relations with neighbouring countries including Iran, China, Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asian Republics and India which would boost country's economy.
He also said many energy projects with Iran, India and China were in the pipeline.
On reopening of NATO supply line, Gilani said all stake-holders would be taken on board and national interests will be safeguarded if the NATO supplies were restored.
Dialogue was going on with the US on the NATO supply line issue, Gilani said, in light of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which had sought apology from the US over the killing of 24 soldiers last November.