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Pakistan urges end to US strikes

April 19, 2011


Pakistan has called on the US to stop non-UN-sanctioned drone strikes in the country’s northern tribal belt as differences between Islamabad and Washington escalate.

The row between the US and its Asian ally over the scale of the unauthorized CIA drone operations in Pakistan’s North Waziristan were exposed last week.

Pakistan has repeatedly criticized the attacks which it condemns for violating the country’s sovereignty.

Washington, on the other hand, defends the strikes as necessary to fight the militants it claims to have holed up.

But Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that Washington should share better intelligence so Islamabad can take action against militants itself.

For several months, Pakistani diplomats and military officials have complained that they were being kept in the dark by the US administration’s non-UN-sanctioned military campaigns.

Politicians on both sides are disappointed with the results of investment of billions of dollars in the US military and civilian assistance since 2001 with Washington admitting in a recent report to Congress that the results of the spending fell short of expectations.

More than 1,180 people were killed by over 120 CIA drone strikes in 2010 alone, reports say.

The strikes have further fueled the anti-US sentiment already on the rise in the region.

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