ISLAMABAD Pakistan on Thursday said it would raise the issue of drone attacks on tribal areas with the United States during the forthcoming visit by US special envoy Richard Holbrooke to Islamabad. Richard Holbrooke is scheduled to visit Pakistan next week and this issue (drone attacks) would come up for our discussions, said the Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit addressing his weekly press briefing. When asked whether Pakistan had lodged a protest with the United States against Wednesdays drone attack on Orakzai Agency, the spokesman said, This is part of our ongoing discussions with the US. To another question about any diplomatic protest to the United States on the repeated drone attacks, he said, Not yet, not in my knowledge. He said the drone attacks were tantamount to violations of Pakistans sovereignty and they were counterproductive. They are not helpful in our efforts to win hearts and minds. So we cannot accept drone attacks, Basit said. Pakistan would work closely with the United States to work out the issue of drone attacks as well as other matters, he said. Pakistan is looking forward to engagement with the United States in order to formulate fresh approaches, he added. Responding to a question, he said Pakistan intended to engage with the United States, Europe and other friends to develop a closer understanding on goals and modalities for taking forward its partnership for peace and development in the region. He said, We intend to deepen our engagement with Afghanistan and other friends, including China, Iran and other countries in the region for joining efforts to overcome the challenges and forge a strong commitment to a prosperous future for our region. He said, Pakistan has its own strategy, policy and priorities that are in our national interests. He said Pakistan and Afghanistan were inextricably linked and both the countries shared geography, culture and faith. Pakistan is facing multiple challenges and it is determined to convert these into opportunities for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan and of the region as a whole, he said. He said, No one should underestimate the resolve and resilience of our people in overcoming the challenges, both external and internal. It is evident that Pakistan faces issues that are evidently a spill-over effect from the troubles of Afghanistan. The primary issue and priority must be to stabilize Afghanistan, Basit said. He said, We have been able to develop a good cooperative framework with Afghanistan to deal with immediate issues of security, counter terrorism and more importantly to move towards robust economic partnership. Answering a query about statements by Indian leaders urging Pakistan to take action against the perpetrators involved in Mumbai attacks, Basit said most of those statements were related to election campaign of Indian leaders. He, nonetheless, said that efforts should be made for the resumption of Indo-Pak peace process adding it was the only way forward to resolve all the bilateral issues. He said, It will be better to resume the dialogue process as it will be better for the region and for the progress and prosperity of the people. Pakistan is at present analyzing the response from India regarding the questions asked by Islamabad in connection with Mumbai attacks and after the completion of the process, results will be shared with India, Basit said. He said both Pakistan and India should utilize the anti-terror mechanism to counter terrorism and cooperate to deal with the serious threat. To a question on the proposed Kerry-Lugar bill for $1.5 billion annual economic aid to Pakistan from the United States over next five years, he said Pakistan hoped there would be progress on the bill next month. On meeting of Friends of Democratic Pakistan being held in Tokyo later this month, Basit said agenda for the meeting was being finalized by the experts during their meeting currently being held in Abu Dhabi. In his opening statement on the trilateral summit held in Ankara between the Presidents of Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan, Basit said it proved a step forward to ensure peace and security in the region. He said that the recently held Hague Conference on Afghanistan proved as a landmark event as there was broad agreement for a fresh approach and comprehensive strategy to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region. The Conference, he said, was attended by over 80 countries, a large number of which were represented by their respective Foreign Ministers including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Foreign Ministers of Russia, France Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and other important countries. The Conference issued a Chairmans Statement that focused on a holistic approach, underscoring promotion of good governance, accelerating economic growth and development, strengthening security and expanding regional cooperation, he said. The outcome of the Conference vindicates the approach Pakistan has been vigorously advocating, he said.