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'Unfortunate and deplorable' Pakistani prime minster says about U.S. Drone attacks

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 6th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Shairf has called the United States to task for its use of unmanned drone attacks to battle terrorism there. In addition to mistakenly targeting unarmed civilians, the use of drones there have thwarted Pakistan's attempts to establish a durable peace.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denounced U.S. drone strikes as "unfortunate and deplorable." Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in such a U.S. missile strike in North Waziristan last week.

Mehsud had a $5 million bounty on his head. He was killed the day before the Pakistani government was due to send a three-member delegation to start formal peace talks with the militant group. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella group of various militant outfits, has called off the talks and vowed to avenge Mehsud's death in response.

Prime Minister Sharif has summoned a special meeting of the federal cabinet to review Pakistan's ties with the U.S. after the collapse of peace talks.

"Amidst this scenario, the drone strike inflicted serious damage on the government's efforts for dialogue and peace," Sharif told the cabinet. "But we will not let the peace process be derailed."

The death toll is sky high for this undeveloped nation. More than 50,000 people have been killed in militant attacks in Pakistan since the war against terrorism began following 9/11.

"If the efforts that we have initiated for peace, instead of bloodshed, are not to be supported, at least these should not be sabotaged. Pakistan has the right to make independent decisions in its own interest," said Sharif.

He added that his government would honor the decisions taken by the All Parties Conference and carry forward the peace dialogue with Taliban.

"The international community, keeping in view the determination and unprecedented sacrifices of the people of Pakistan, is bound to support these initiatives and provide every possible backing to bring peace," he said.

Sharif said peace in his nation "cannot be done overnight, nor can it be done by unleashing senseless force against our citizens, without first making every effort to bring the misguided and confused elements of society, back to the mainstream."

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