Diplomatic (PM raises drone attacks issue with US Ambassador)

General Islamabad

Islamabad: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf raised the issue of drone attacks in the backdrop of today’s attack on Mir Ali with US Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Richard G. Olson who called on him here Thursday.

Expressing his concern over the drone attacks, the Prime Minister said that they are counterproductive and we need to find alternative means to eliminate terrorists.

The US Ambassador noted the concern of the Government and the people of Pakistan and said that he will convey the concern of the government of Pakistan to US authorities.

Congratulating the US Ambassador on his appointment in Pakistan, the Prime Minister expressed the hope that relations between Pakistan and US would be further strengthened during his tenure as his experience of the region will be helpful in creating a better understanding between the two countries.

He said that things have improved considerably since 2008 when the media was rife with statements that terrorists were near Islamabad.

The Present government, he said, with the support of the people, international community, law enforcement agencies has succeeded in pushing these terrorist and is confident that they would be wiped out.

The Prime Minister said “we are fighting against those who attack our mosques, schools, cantonments and innocent civilians and children”.

“We know we have to do a lot, but we will wipe them out”, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said that recent interaction between two countries at different levels have been very encouraging.

The US Ambassador, who was making his maiden courtesy call on the Prime Minister, said that the United States acknowledges the sacrifices and contribution rendered by the people of Pakistan. The international community, he said, does not appreciate Pakistan’s contributions “as much as it should”.

Mr. Richard G. Olson said that United States wants to have a long term relationship with Pakistan base on “mutual respect and common interest”.

The US Ambassador said that the United States is encouraged by the recent visit of Mr. Salahuddin Rabbani, Chairman High Peace Council, Afghan Foreign Minister Mr. Zalmai Rassoul and the visit of General Kayani to Kabul.