President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday urged the United States to revisit its drone attack policy in Pakistani tribal areas.
Talking to a delegation of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee headed by its Chairman Senator Robert Menendez in Islamabad, President Zardari termed drone attack as counterproductive that are causing great damage at popular level and stressed the need to find a way out.
Zardari remarks coincided with a statement by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, who says that the American spy aircraft has killed nearly 4,700 people, including civilians, according to an U.S. website.
The U.S. routinely fire missiles into Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region what the American officials claim target the al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.
Pakistan insists that the attacks also kill innocent people and that the CIA-controlled drone campaign has sparked anti-US sentiments.
President Zardari told the U.S. delegation that the sacrifices offered by Pakistan in the fight against militancy must be acknowledged and appreciated, an official statement said.
“Pakistan’s armed forces were doing a heroic job despite odds but‚ stretched as they were in the tribal areas‚ they needed to be assisted with resources for long term and sustained counter terrorism operations”.
About Pakistan-US relations‚ President Zardari said these relations are multifaceted and it would not be proper to see them through one prism only‚ be that Afghanistan or any other.
Reiterating that Pakistan looked forward to increased trade through market access instead of aid‚ the President said Pakistan wants increased US investment in Pakistan in energy‚ agro and livestock sectors.
Referring to Pakistan-India relations‚ he Pakistan has liberalized trade with India and it wishes to establish friendly‚ cooperative and good neighborly relations with it and peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes.
Robert Menendez appreciated the role played by Pakistani and the sacrifices offered by its armed forces‚ security agencies and the people in the fight against militancy, the statement said.