ISLAMABAD, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan said Friday that it wants to resolve the issue of the American drone attacks in the country through bilateral talks with the United States.
The statement came a day after U.S. spy aircraft carried two attacks in the Waziristan tribal region and killed a senior Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Nazir and eight other people.
Mullah Nazir's Wazir tribe had struck a peace deal with the Pakistani forces in 2007 and both sides are holding the agreement. However, the U.S. had been accusing him of sending fighters to Afghanistan for attacks on foreign and Afghan forces.
Pakistan publicly opposes the American drone attacks, but the U. S. has not hinted any change in the CIA-controlled drone operations.
"We consider the drone strikes totally unproductive, illegal and violative of Pakistan's territorial integrity," Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazam Khan said.
He told a weekly press briefing that Pakistan has time and again taken up the issue of drone strikes with the United States and hoped both sides will be able to resolve this issue bilaterally.
"We are also in touch with different organizations including the United Nations to brief them about Pakistan's position on the drone attacks," the spokesman said.
Khan said that the issue of drones has been raised at the highest level as Pakistan condemns the drone attacks.
When queried about the killing of Mullah Nazir in drone strike, the spokesman said he cannot confirm the death of the Taliban leader in the drone strike.
To another question, the spokesman confirmed that Pakistan has released 26 Taliban leaders to facilitate the reconciliation and peace process in Afghanistan.
"Pakistan attaches great importance to peace and stability in Afghanistan and is willing to facilitate the reconciliation process there," he said.
The spokesman said Pakistan is hopeful that a conference of Pakistani and Afghan religious scholars will be held in Kabul this month and that concerned quarters are finalizing the date for the conference and the Pakistani delegation will attend the meeting.
About the visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Islamabad, the spokesman said the invitation is there but no date has yet been finalized.
When asked as to when Pakistan will finally grant the Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to India, the spokesman said the federal cabinet in its last meeting discussed the issue and reiterated its earlier resolve of granting the MFN status to India.
Regarding the recent visit of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Saudi Arabia, the spokesman said the foreign minister held in-depth discussions with the Saudi leadership on the expansion of bilateral relations in diverse fields.
During the visit, the two sides emphasized the need to institutionalize the relationship and discussed the regional situation with particular reference to the situation in Afghanistan and Syria.
The two countries share the perception that terrorism poses a common threat to the region and the world, the spokesman said.
About US-Iran relations, the spokesman hoped that all the issues between the two countries would be resolved peacefully.
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- At least four people were killed in a U.S. drone strike launched in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of North Waziristan on Thursday morning, reported local media.
According to reports of Dunya, U.S. unmanned aircraft fired three missiles at a vehicle suspected of carrying militants in the Mubarak Shahi village near Mir Ali, main town of North Waziristan, leaving three people killed, possibly including an important Taliban commander. Full story
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- At least five people were killed in a U.S. drone strike launched in the wee hours of Thursday in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of South Waziristan, reported local media Dunya.
According to the local media reports, the strike took place at about 0:30 a.m. local time when two of the four U.S. drones flying over the area fired four missiles at a house suspected of being a militant hideout in the Angoor Ada area of South Waziristan bordering Afghanistan. Full story