US Drone attacks will harm anti-terror cooperation: Pakistan

December 4th, 2008 - 1:00 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Pakistan has warned that missile attacks by US Drone pilotless aircraft in the tribal belt of the country’s northwest could harm cooperation in the anti-terror campaign, Online news agency reported Thursday.This was conveyed by President Asif Ali Zardari to visiting US Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Committee Admiral Michael Mullen Wednesday during their meeting.

Zardari told Mullen the US must immediately halt the attacks and respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, and warned that the Drone attacks would “disrupt the confidence building measures in the ongoing war on terror”.

The tribal belt of northwest Pakistan running alongside the Afghan border has been a haven for Taliban insurgents and their Al Qaeda allies who use the area as their base to mount attacks on Afghan government interest and foreign troops in Afghanistan fighting the insurgents.

The US-led coalition forces have launched numerous missile attacks on suspected terror hideouts in the area, some of which have caused civilian casualties triggering strong popular anger. Islamabad has lodged several protests with the US against what it called violation of its air space.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly accused Pakistan of inaction against Taliban and Al Qaeda terror elements taking shelter in the tribal belt.

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