Pakistan plans to raise the issue of American drone attacks in the country’s tribal regions at the United Nations, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The U.S. spy aircraft routinely fire missiles into Waziristan tribal region which Pakistan says kill innocent people and that the attacks are against sovereignty of the country.

The U.S. has refused to halt the CIA’s covert drone campaign.

“Pakistan has started preparations to raise the issue of drone attacks at the United Nations in accordance with the recommendation of the country’s political parties,” Foreign Office Spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said.

Speaking at the weekly briefing in Islamabad, the spokesman said necessary directives have been issued to the Pakistani missions in New York and Geneva.

The spokesman rejected any agreement with the United States on the use of drone attacks and said these violate our territorial sovereignty and integrity.

“The U.S. drone strikes are counterproductive against the forces of terrorism and extremism,” he said, adding the international community has also supported Pakistan’s stance on drone attacks.

AFGHAN TALIBAN LEADERS: The spokesman said Pakistan has decided in principle to release prominent Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Baradar at an appropriate time.

He said Islamabad has so far released thirty-three Taliban detainees including seven in recent days with the objective to contribute to Afghan reconciliation process.

“The purpose is to allow these elements to join the mainstream reconciliation process,” Chaudhry said and added Pakistan believes that the Afghan reconciliation process will succeed only if all the stakeholders are able to participate in it.

The spokesman said Pakistan government‚ the concerned authorities in Afghanistan and the United States are in touch with one another on the release of Taliban prisoners.

Responding to a question‚ the spokesman said Pakistan will not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and extend all out support and assistance for the success of reconciliation process there.

PAKISTAN-INDIA TIES: On Pakistan-India relations‚ the spokesperson said Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz will hold talks with Indian external affairs minister Salman Khurshid in Kyrgyzstan on Friday on the sideline of Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Bishkek. Both the leaders will discuss bilateral relations.

About the proposed meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New York‚ the spokesman said both the governments are in touch to work out the date. This meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to the two sides to discuss matters of mutual interests.

SYRIAN CRISIS: Expressing concerns over loss of innocent lives in Syria‚ the spokesman said Pakistan demands an all inclusive political dialogue to find solution of the matter. He said any action against Syria should be in accordance with the UN charter and principles.

“Pakistan is also distressed over the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria. These weapons should not be used by any party under any circumstances.”

He said our embassy in Syria is fully functional and has prepared a contingency plan to evacuate Pakistanis in case of any attack.

 

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