Zardari wants ‘ownership’ not ‘control’ of US drones operating in Pakistan

May 14th, 2009 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown London, May 14 (ANI): Pakistan has asked the United States to hand over the ‘ownership’ and not only ‘control’ of the drones operating inside its territory.

Referring to Washington’s decision to give Islamabad control over the drone strikes in the tribal regions along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said such ‘half measures’ would be of no use.

“Democracy doesn’t believe in half measures. We’ve asked for the ownership of the drones,” The Nation quoted Zardari, as saying.

Zardari, who is currently in Britain, said Islamabad is “negotiating terms” with the US over the drones, which have long been a source of tension between Washington and Islamabad.

Talking to media persons after meeting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Zardari said the fight against the Taliban would be a long-term struggle.

He underlined the important need of rooting out the Taliban and other extremist groups from Pakistan.

“If I were to say that they are trying to create a ‘new world order’, I would not be wrong. The fight against militants is not a short-term affair. It is a long-term endeavour,” he added.

Zardari also refuted the concerns of the international community about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

“You can ask anybody who is responsible in any government and they will tell you that they are not concerned,” he said.

“They assure their governments that they are quite satisfied with the security situation in Pakistan and with the command and control system that Pakistan already has,” Zardari added. (ANI)

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