Pak may review its rules of engagement with US in the wake of recent strikes

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Islamabad, Sept 19 : Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that in the wake of the recent, rather ongoing, US strikes on its soil, the rules of engagement between Pakistan and the US in the war on terrorism needed to be reviewed.

"We can also sit as a government and see if they need to be reviewed," said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while complaining that Pakistan had not been informed about Wednesday's attack in South Waziristan.

He was talking about the drone attack carried out after an assurance given by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen to respect Pakistan's sovereignty reflected an "institutional disconnect' in the US administration which was something for the Americans to sort out.

He added: "We have to remain engaged with the US and our allies, co-exist with them and find a way out... there is a genuine concern in the US about the potential of Al Qaeda and Taliban to once again threaten mainland USA and Europe and we, as allies, have to understand the concern and address it."

Welcoming Admiral Mullen's 'clear commitment', Qureshi said there was no reason for not believing him.

He said such incursions were unproductive and they vitiated the atmosphere of cooperation. He said the US forces were neither helping Pakistan nor themselves through such actions.

The foreign minister said he would take up during is visit to Washington for 'strategic dialogue' the issue of air and ground violations along the Afghan border by US troops. He said the issue was a major concern for Pakistan.

"We have to remain engaged with the US and our allies, co-exist with them and find a way out... there is a genuine concern in the US about the potential of Al Qaeda and Taliban to once again threaten mainland USA and Europe and we, as allies, have to understand the concern and address it," added the Pakistan foreign minister.

Qureshi called for putting aside emotions, understanding the situation and moving ahead in a manner that would best serve the country's interests and protect its sovereignty. "Giving statements is very easy and so is criticism. But it should be seen what options we have under the given circumstances and whether we want to add to Pakistan's friends or make new foes."

ANI

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