There is no agreement with US for drone attacks, says Pakistan

Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Muhammad Sadiq said that there is no understanding between Pakistan and the United States on predator attacks inside its territory.

world Updated: Jan 28, 2009 20:26 IST

Pakistan has no agreement with the US that allowed drone attacks inside its territory, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"There is no understanding between Pakistan and the United States on predator attacks," said Muhammad Sadiq in response to the statement by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates that US would continue such attacks against militants and that Pakistan was aware of this.

But the spokesman rejected the comments and said Pakistan had done more than any other country as far as Al Qaeda is concerned.

"We look forward to working closely with the new US administration on all issues, including in the fight against terrorism," he said.

On Tuesday, Gates told a Senate Panel that missile strikes in Pakistan would continue in an effort to root out Al Qaeda members who have based themselves across the border from Afghanistan.

"Both president Bush and President Obama have made clear that we will go after Al Qaeda wherever Al Qaeda is. And we will continue to pursue this," he said.

Pakistan was expecting that the new US administration under President Barack Obama would bring an end to missile strikes inside Pakistani territory, but Gates' statement Tuesday has cleared the picture that there would be no pause on strikes.

US drones regularly conduct missile strikes on Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan, which Washington says aimed at targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

Officials say that US carried out around 50 missile strikes on Pakistan last year, with civilians as majority of the casualties.

Earlier, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said that drone attacks could affect Pakistan-US ties and asked Washington to stop drone attacks.

He said that diplomatic and military contacts would be used to stop the US attacks.

First Published: Jan 28, 2009 20:09 IST