Pakistan on Monday warned the US general overseeing America's two wars that frequent missile strikes on its territory risk inflaming anti-American sentiment.
General David Petraeus met with Pakistan Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar as part of his first international trip since taking over US Central Command just three days before.
The visit indicated how crucial the US considers Pakistan’s support in the fight against Islamist extremists, especially those in its neighbour Afghanistan. But it also comes amid Pakistani calls to halt US missile strikes on suspected militant targets on its soil.
A Defence Ministry statement said Mukhtar told Petraeus, Assistant US Secretary of State Richard Boucher, and others in the entourage that the missile strikes from drones “generate anti-America sentiments as well as create outrage and uproar among the people.”
The US wants Pakistan to do more to crack down on insurgents who use pockets of its northwest region as sanctuaries from which to plan attacks on US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, where violence is running at its highest levels since 2001.
The missile strikes in the border region indicate US impatience with Pakistani efforts.
Washington is suspected in at least 17 missile strikes in Pakistan since August.
In September, a US ground assault in a tribal region in Pakistan's northwest spurred outrage in Pakistan and prompted a flurry of diplomatic activity. There have been no reports of additional ground assaults since.