Pak flip-flop update: "Zardari did not say drone attacks would continue"

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Islamabad, Dec. 20: In the latest incident in the series of flip-flops by the Pakistan government, presidential spokesman has contradicted media reports on Pakistan President Asif Zardari's alleged statement on continuation of US drone attacks in the Tribal Areas.

"President Asif Ali Zardari has always reiterated the position maintained by Pakistan that it opposed action against militants inside Pakistani territory by foreign forces as it gravely undermines the ongoing fight against militancy," the spokesperson was quoted by Daily Times as saying.

He denied any report of the President having made any such comments at the meeting with the tribal elders or at any other forum.

"In fact the president has always echoed the government policy that action against militants will be taken only by the Pakistani security and law enforcement agencies," he said.

Earlier, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had said that the government has no other option but to continue air strikes on the Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata) to counter terrorism, a statement that hinted that US strikesin tribal areas were being conducted with the government's consent.

Zardari held a meeting with the tribal elders at the President House to take their suggestions about combating terror on Wednesday.

However, tribal elders expressed reservations about the US drone attacks and said innocent people were also being killed.

According to the Dawn, President Zardari is reported to have told tribal elders, "There is no alternative to fighting militancy because militants want to capture political power through the use of force to impose their own political agenda. This the government would never allow." (ANI)

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