Haqqani urges Washington to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty

June 16th, 2009 - 4:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, June 16 (ANI): Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States has urged Washington to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and not cause civilian casualties while launching drone against Al Qaeda leaders in its tribal regions.

“There is no doubt that the drones have eliminated many top Al Qaeda terrorists. That is not what Pakistan objects to - the elimination of militant leaders and terrorists through drone technology. Our issue is with respect to Pakistan’s sovereignty and we do not want civilian casualties,” the Daily Times quoted Haqqani, as telling BBC.

Explaining Pakistan’s position on the strikes, he added, ” It is wrong to misinterpret Pakistan’s objections to the use of Predator drones as an objection to the elimination of senior Al Qaeda leaders. We want Pakistan’s sovereignty to be respected but it does not mean Pakistan does not want Al Qaeda or its allies to be eliminated from its soil.”

Accepting the positive aspect of the drones like, “they help locate the bad guys and then can take them out”, Haqqani appreciated the improvement in intelligence sharing between Pakistan and the US.

“Intelligence sharing between Pakistan and the US has improved and the US knows Pakistan is on the right path. Even the Afghan and Indian intelligence services, which have been at loggerheads with Pakistan’s intelligence service for years, recognize that Pakistan has found the right kind of intelligence against terrorists and is following it,” he said. (ANI)

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