Boucher denies souring of US-Pak ties over unilateral strikes

September 15th, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sept 15 (ANI): Amid a series of strong statements emerging from Islamabad that the ongoing US strikes might prove counter-productive and could lead to straining of US-Pak ties, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard A. Boucher Monday said there was no rift in relations between Pakistan and US.

Describing Pakistan as a praiseworthy ally in war against terrorism, Boucher said that contacts and cooperation would continue between two countries.

The US values its ties with Pakistan as Islamabad has been a praiseworthy ally in war against terrorism, The News quoted him as saying in an interview.

He, however, ducked a question US drones attacks in tribal areas of Pakistan .

He said he saw no reason to think about any crack between Washington and Islamabad , and added two sides were cooperating each other in various sectors.

Boucher further said that the US leadership would hold positive talks with Pakistani delegation set to visit US to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Last week, Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani signaled straining of Pak-US relations when he said that the US strikes could prove counter-productive. He said that it was the sole sovereign right of Islamabad to launch attacks on extremists and that no foreign forces would be allowed to strike Pakistani soil.

Similarly, Pakistan s envoy in Washington Hussain Haqqani also said that the US should desist from attacking terrorists hideouts on Pakistani soil without prior approval from Islamabad .

The US strikes have also evoked strong response from several other quarters from across Pakistan , saying that many innocent civilians, including women and children, had lost their lives in such strikes. (ANI)

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