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'Stop cross-border missile strikes'

Pakistan told the US that cross-border missile strikes in its tribal areas were "unacceptable and must be stopped immediately," lest they generate anti-America sentiments.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2008 19:52 IST

Pakistan on Monday told the US that cross-border missile strikes in its tribal areas were "unacceptable and must be stopped immediately," lest they generate anti-America sentiments.

The issue of missile strikes by US drones from Afghanistan which have strained ties between the two countries was taken up by Pakistan's political and military leadership with visiting Gen David H Petraeus, the top US army commander overseeing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Petraeus arrived in Pakistan on Sunday as part of his first international visit after being appointed head of the US Central Command. He is accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State Richard A Boucher.

During a meeting with the US officials, President Asif Ali Zardari said the missile strikes in the country's tribal belt were "unacceptable and must be stopped immediately", TV channels reported.

A similar stand was adopted by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. He told Petraeus and Boucher during a meeting at the army's General Headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that the missile strikes are counter-productive for the war on terror.

The US officials also met Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who asked the US to respect Pakistan's "sovereignty and territorial integrity because the frequent drone attacks could generate anti-America sentiments as well as create outrage and uproar among the people", said a statement from the defence ministry.