US strikes inside Pakistan 'intolerable': Gilani

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{image-Yousuf Raza Gilani_21112008.jpg}Islamabad, Nov 21: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reportedly condemned US airstrikes inside Pakistan as 'intolerable', and said that he hoped the incursions would stop with the change in command at the White House.

Following the Opposition's criticism of the government over Wednesday, Nov 19 suspected US drone attack in Bannu, Gilani said in his policy statement that his government had no tacit understanding with the US on such strikes. He said even if "former president Pervez Musharraf had reached such an understanding", there were no Foreign Ministry records showing that. He claimed that unlike the past Pakistan is "no longer an isolated nation", as it has the support of the entire world over violations of its sovereignty. A number of Western leaders he had met supported the government's stance that the US should change its policy towards Pakistan, he added.

"Once the transition period in the US comes to an end and Barack Obama's government is in place, these attacks will come to an end," the Daily Times quoted him as saying.

Gilani also hoped the issue could be tackled through diplomatic efforts and international lobbying. The national security adviser was in constant touch with his US counterpart, and Pakistani concerns were being conveyed to the Americans, he said and added: "You should not doubt that the army would not support the government or its policies ... the army will take steps with the consent of the administration."

Earlier, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) asked the government to take up its concerns over the drone attacks with the United Nations. Opposition Leader in the House Nisar Ali Khan said the US incursions were not coming to an end despite Pakistan's stance that there would be no compromise on the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty.


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