US drones not operating from Pak bases: Qureshi

February 16th, 2009 - 12:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Multan, Feb.16 (ANI): A day after the US backtracked from its statement that unmanned predator were planes operating from bases near Islamabad, Pakistans Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi refuted the charge categorically.
Talking to mediapersons here, Qureshi said Pakistani bases were not being used for US drone attacks in the countrys tribal areas as suggested by US Senator Dianne Feinstein a few days ago.
Qureshi also denied of any secret agreement between Islamabad and Washington on the drone attacks.
Last week, Feinstein, the Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee,said CIAs unmanned aircrafts were being operated from an airbase inside Pakistan.
But later, her spokesman, Philip J. LaVelle, described Feinsteins comments as being only on news reports rather than an intelligence report.
Qureshi, however, reiterated that drone attacks were harming the Pakistans sovereignty, and causing collateral damage that could prove to be counter-productive in the US led War on Terrorin the region.
Qureshi said he had conveyed Islamabads stance over the issue to Richard Holbrooke , President Obamas Special Envoy on Pakistan and Afghanistan, , during the latters recent visit to Islamabad.
Commenting on the turbulent situation in the Swat Valley, he expressed the hope that the Obama administration would look into the achievements and drawbacks of the policy pursued over the last eight years while framing new policies for the tribal region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The Daily Times quoted Qureshi, as saying that Islamabad wanted to employ a holistic approach to using force. (ANI)

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