Pak urges US to stop missile attacks

deepak pace

Pakistan on Sunday urged the US to halt missile strikes in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, saying such attacks are counterproductive for the war on terror as they caused civilian casualties.

Calling on the new administration of President Barack Obama to review its policy for tackling terrorism and extremism, the Pakistan government said it had already conveyed its concerns over the missile strikes to the US.

The move came a day after two missile strikes in North and South Waziristan tribal regions killed at least 22 people, including children.

Up to eight suspected foreign militants were also killed in the attacks, media reports said. These were the first missiles strikes carried out after Obama assumed office.

"We maintain that these attacks are counterproductive and should be discontinued. Pakistan urges the US and NATO to adopt a holistic and more effective approach to countering extremism and terrorism," said a statement issued by the Foreign Office spokesman.

"Pakistan has consistently lodged strong protests with the US government against drone attacks, which constitute an infringement of Pakistan's sovereignty. Yesterday's attack in the Waziristan area which caused civilian causalities is a matter of great concern. These concerns have been conveyed to the US side," the statement added.

The spokesman also said that with the advent of the new US administration, "it is Pakistan's sincere hope that the US will review its policy and adopt a more holistic and integrated approach towards dealing with the issue of terrorism and extremism"