US drones not operating from Pak bases: Qureshi

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Multan, Feb.16 (ANI): A day after the US backtracked from its statement that unmanned predator were planes operating from bases near Islamabad, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi refuted the charge categorically.

Talking to mediapersons here, Qureshi said Pakistani bases were not being used for US drone attacks in the country's tribal areas - as suggested by US Senator Dianne Feinstein a few days ago.

Qureshi also denied of any secret agreement between Islamabad and Washington on the drone attacks.

Last week, Feinstein, the Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee,said CIA's unmanned aircrafts were being operated from an airbase inside Pakistan.

But later, her spokesman, Philip J. LaVelle, described Feinstein's comments as being based only on news reports rather than an intelligence report.

Qureshi, however, reiterated that drone attacks were harming the Pakistan's sovereignty, and causing collateral damage that could prove to be counter-productive in the US led 'War on Terror'in the region.

Qureshi said he had conveyed Islamabad's stance over the issue to Richard Holbrooke , President Obama's Special Envoy on Pakistan and Afghanistan, , during the latter's recent visit to Islamabad.

Commenting on the turbulent situation in the Swat Valley, he expressed the hope that the Obama administration would look into the achievements and drawbacks of the policy pursued over the last eight years while framing new policies for the tribal region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The Daily Times quoted Qureshi, as saying that Islamabad wanted to employ a holistic approach to using force. (ANI)

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