Pakistan denies US Gates remarks over drone strikes

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday that Washington would continue with strikes by unmanned Predator drones inside Pakistan and that Pakistan was aware of this.

Pakistan denies US Gates remarks over drone strikes
Pakistan said on Wednesday it had no understanding with Washington that allowed missile strikes on its territory.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday that Washington would continue with strikes by unmanned Predator drones inside Pakistan and that Pakistan was aware of this.

But in a statement on Wednesday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry "denied" there was a deal.

"There is no understanding between Pakistan and the United States on Predator attacks," spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said.

The Washington Post in November cited unidentified Pakistani and U.S. officials as saying the countries had agreed on a don't-ask-don't-tell policy that allowed attacks, but Islamabad formally denied such an agreement.

U.S. officials normally decline to comment publicly on reports of missile strikes but Gates made an exception on Tuesday when asked about Pakistan's complaints at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The United States carried out about 30 missile attacks in 2008 and four this year, according to a Reuters tally.

US attacks have killed about 250 people according to a tally of reports from Pakistani intelligence agents, district government officials and residents.

Pakistan says the attacks are a violation of its sovereignty.

Pakistanis says the U.S.-led assaults in the region are a war against Muslims.

Reuters
Last Mod: 29 Ocak 2009, 11:52
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