Give us the drones and we will take out the militants ourselves Zardari tells US

April 8th, 2009 - 5:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban London, Apr.8 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the United States to provide the unmanned remote controlled Predator aircrafts to the country so that it could carry out drone strikes against the extremists outfit based on its soil.

Zardari reiterated that the US led drone strikes targeted at militant outfits in the tribal areas along the Afghan border were an assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty.

He urged the Obama Administration to let Pakistan handle the issue on its own, and provide it with intelligence inputs so that it can tackle the issue effectively.

“I cannot condone violations of our sovereignty even when they are done by allies and friends. We would much prefer that the US share its intelligence and give us the drones and missiles that will allow us to take care of this problem on our own,” Zardari told The Independent.

Though Pakistan has long been denying that it supports the US on the drone attack issue, several reports in the recent past have revealed that Islamabad certainly has been providing logistical support to Washington.

The US led missile hits in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas is primarily targeted at the Taliban, its chief Baitullah Mehsud and other insurgent groups.

Reports have disclosed that Pakistan has been sharing secret information about Mehsud’s movement with the US.

Commenting on the political scenario of the country, Zardari admitted that the country was not witnessing development which was urgently required after a decade of autocratic rule.

“After a decade of dictatorship the people had enormous expectations of rapid improvement in their lives. That is still very much our priority but the enormity of the economic crisis both within Pakistan and internationally, compounded by the war that we fight within and along our borders, has made progress much slower than we hoped,” he said. (ANI)

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