Military operation, drone attacks have no link: FO

Pakistan condemns drone strike in North Waziristan

ISLAMABAD – Condemning recent drone strikes that took place near Miranshah in North Waziristan, Pakistan on Thursday said that these attacks were violation of its sovereignty.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam in her weekly briefing said that Pakistan had condemned the recent two incidents of US drone strikes that took place in North Waziristan during the early hours of Wednesday. She said that Pakistan regarded such strikes as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

She said that these strikes also had a negative impact on government's efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region. She said that there was no link of these drone attacks to the military operation in North Waziristan.

Referring to previous statements and efforts of Pakistan on the drone issue, the spokesperson said Pakistan had agitated the issue at various international fora and presented and passed a number of resolutions against drone strikes.

The spokesperson said it was completely misleading and wrong to attach these strikes with the ongoing operation in North Waziristan. She said a resolution, sponsored by Pakistan, was also passed by the Human Rights Council on drone strike.

She said even the UN Rapporteur also presented its report against the drone strikes in Pakistan. The spokesperson said that Pakistan had also taken up the issue of drone strikes with US officials at various levels to lodge its protest.

Replying to another question about military operation in North Waziristan and any contact with Afghan leadership, the spokesman said that Pakistan has conveyed to the Afghan leadership that this operation was need of the hour and to purge the area from the extremist and terrorist elements.

She said that there was a need for better border management and parallel steps on the other side so that no terrorist could escape into Afghanistan. She said Pakistan has emphasized that there should be better management across the border this time and the Afghan government should also take adequate steps so that there could be no disturbance and interference from Afghan side in this operation.

Replying to a question about asking Canadian government to stop Dr Tahirul Qadri to travel to Pakistan as he is Canadian citizen, the spokesperson said although there were international norms in this regard but Tahirul Qadri was also a Pakistani citizen, therefore, this law was not applicable in this regard.

Commenting on the forthcoming visit of Advisor to prime minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to Russian Federation, the spokesperson said that he will visit attends a conference but he will also meet his Russian counterpart during this visit and discuss bilateral relations and regional situation.

The spokesperson said that Pak-Russian ties had been on positive trajectory in the last few years and these relations in different sectors were improving. She said that Sartaj Aziz will discuss with Russian leadership to find ways and means to further improve these ties, especially in trade and economic sectors.

Replying to a question on latest situation in Iraq, the spokesperson said,"We are concerned about escalation of violence in Iraq." She said that Pakistan wants stable, peaceful and calm, not only in Iraq but also in the region. The spokesperson said Pakistan's envoy in Baghdad had informed that all the Pakistanis living in Iraq were safe and sound as they were living away from the disturbed areas.

Replying to a question, the spokesperson said there were 281 Pakistani in different prisons of China. She said that 90 percent of these Pakistani prisoners were held on charges of drug and illegal trade activities while very few were in the jails on the charges of illegal entry or stay in China.

On the question of any contact between Pakistan and India, the spokesperson said two sides were in contact with each other.

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