[QODLink]
Americas

Pakistani PM urges Obama to end drone strikes

Meeting in the White House, the leaders also discussed the fate of Afghanistan following the US withdrawal next year.

Last Modified: 24 Oct 2013 00:53
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged President Barack Obama to end drone strikes in Pakistan, touching on a sore subject just as relations between the two countries have been improving after years of suspicion over the US-led campaign in Afghanistan and the "War on Terror".

"I also brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasizing the need to end ... such strikes," Sharif told reporters after meeting with Obama in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

With US forces preparing to pull out of Afghanistan next year, Obama pledged to brief Sharif fully and to work towards an Afghanistan that is "stable and secure, its sovereignty respected."

"I'm confident that, working together, we can achieve a goal that is good for Afghanistan, but also helps to protect Pakistan over the long term," Obama told reporters at the Oval Office.

In a joint statement, the two leaders came together to urge the Taliban "to join the political process and enter into dialogue with the Afghan government."

But to Sharif's urgent call for an end to the US campaign of drone strikes, which have infuriated many Pakistanis who see them as a violation of the country's sovereignty, Obama stayed silent.

The US president acknowledged tensions and "misunderstandings" between the two countries, and said the two leaders had pledged to work together on security issues in ways that "respect Pakistan's sovereignty".

"We committed to working together and making sure that rather than this being a source of tension between our two countries, this can be a source of strength for us working together," Obama said.

Quiet aid

The US has quietly restarted security assistance to Pakistan after freezing much of that aid during a period of strained relations following the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Amnesty International in a report Tuesday said that the United States may have violated international law by killing civilians.

It pointed to an attack in October 2012 in which it said that a 68-year-old grandmother was blown to pieces as she picked vegetables.

The rights group charged that Pakistan, despite its routine public protests, likely has given a quiet green light to the attacks in its remote areas.

367

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list