Karachi (Online) Ignoring the growing chorus of criticism over of drone attacks on northern tribal belt, the newly-appointed US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, has claimed that these attacks are only meant to target the common enemy of the two countries.
Drone attacks are part of the war against terrorism, and they are being carried out only against the common enemy of Pakistan and the United States, American Ambassador said while talking to newsmen after laying a wreath at Mazar-e-Quaid along with his wife, upon his first-ever visit to Karachi on Friday.
Though, the US Ambassador did not say anything regarding perpetual requests from Pakistan demanding an end to drone attacks, however, his body language and talk suggested that the US has no plans to stop drone attacks.
Contrary to US envoys contention, various US think tanks have recently admitted that only a few Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders have so far been killed in drone attacks as against over 1,200 civilians.
Munter observed that the terminology of do more was nothing but a mere misunderstanding. Do more means Pakistan and United States would continue to act and cooperate against terrorists, he maintained. He said destabilisation in neighbouring Afghanistan would continue to affect Pakistan. The US wanted stabilisation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, he added.
To a question about alleged release of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy chief of Talibans supreme leader, Mullah Omer, who was detained in Karachi a few months ago, he said he had no information about release of Mullah Baradar.
Intelligence sources claim that Mullah Baradar had been released by Pakistani authorities with US consent as a goodwill gesture vis--vis proposed dialogue with Taliban.
Answering a question about Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir to bulldoze the ongoing political uprising, the US envoy said both India and Pakistan should hold talks to resolve the core issue of Kashmir.
Rejecting a common notion about increasing anti-US sentiments among Pakistan, particularly because of drone attacks, the US envoy said I dont think that Pakistanis do not like Americans. We (Americans) have to think and understand that what Pakistanis demand from them.
Pakistan-US friendship was based on the principles of mutual respect and honour, Munter said adding that both Pakistanis and Americans wanted to progress rapidly. He said he would exploit his full energy to improve ties between the two countries. Both countries had been enjoying old relations, which were getting strengthened with the passage of time, he maintained.
He said Pakistan had been playing a key role in war against terrorism, and the US government and its people truly appreciated that. No one could deny the sacrifices rendered by Pakistani people and armed forces in war against terrorism, he said.
In reply to a question as regards trade and business incentives for Pakistan, Munter said his country wanted to assist Pakistan, not only in trade, but in other sectors as well. He admitted that European Union (EU) had surpassed America vis--vis trade incentives for Pakistan.
He said the United States would continue to help the flood victims, and an international donors conference in this regard would be held in the middle of November.
The US ambassador thanked the people of Pakistan for according him a rousing welcome.