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Pak asks US to stop drone attacks

Pakistan asked the US to halt its drone attacks in the country's restive tribal region terming it as "counterproductive" in the war on terror and pressed the Obama administration to pass on intelligence so that Islamabad could "take action" against militants.

world Updated: Jan 30, 2009 12:29 IST

Pakistan on Thursday asked the US to halt its drone attacks in the country's restive tribal region terming it as "counterproductive" in the war on terror and pressed the Obama administration to pass on intelligence so that Islamabad could "take action" against militants.

In an interview with CNN, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that Pakistan has no agreement with the US about drone attacks and Washington does not inform Islamabad about such strikes before hand.

When asked about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement that military aid to Pakistan should be conditional on how well it goes after al Qaeda and Taliban, Gilani said it would not work. "That would not be favouring Pakistan. That would also mean like counter-productive," he said.

But he replied in the negative when specifically asked whether he would reject conditional aid. "No, we don't want to reject that. We want that it should not be conditional," he replied.

He also sought to make case for Pakistan army getting more sophisticated weapons to fight militants.

"We have the ability and we have even the will but there is a capacity. We don't have the capacity. The world is focusing on Afghanistan. They have got the most sophisticated weapons in the world. And our poor people, they are fighting without any arms and ammunition," he said.

The American drone attacks targeting militants, mostly in the lawless areas bordering Afghanistan, are unpopular with the people and Gilani was hard put explain the statement of US Defence Secretary Robert Gates that Islamabad is aware of the drone attacks.

He categorically denied that Pakistan is aware of attacks ahead of time and said they become aware of the attacks they are made on its territory.