KARACHI - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has maintained that the US drone attacks contribute towards nullifying Pakistani efforts to create a wedge between the loyal tribes and militants besides casting a negative impact on plans to bring peace in the volatile border region. "Pakistan during last year had succeeded in isolating militants because of result-oriented policies of the government but all such measures could not bring the cherished results in the wake of drone attacks that came from across the borders. This situation prompted sympathies for the militants which otherwise were rapidly waning," said Prime Minister while talking to newsmen on Monday after performing the launching ceremony of the first Small Tanker-cum-Utility Ship (STUS) at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW). He said the drone attacks on the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were not permitted by the government. He hoped that with the change in leadership in the US the policy might change. He refused to comment on the statement of former president Gen (rtd) Pervez Musharraf on the issue, saying, "We have been condemning these attacks in question." "There is no agreement with the US in this regard. Pakistan is a sovereign country and permission for US drone attacks could not be given and we are also seeking support of other countries against these attacks, as the miscreants are coming closer." "We are a strong nation and know how to defend our country," he added. He said people have given mandate to the government for five years and that the government with the support of its coalition partners would serve the nation for the full tenure. He said the government was in power only for eight months and that it is faced with crisis and gigantic challenges. One could not expect miracles to happen in such a brief period, he added. Responding to a query on awarding Hilal-i-Qauid-i-Azam to US Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Gilani justified the honouring of a person who, he said, was not only pro-Pakistan but had also played a key role in the restoration of democracy in this country. He gave full credit to Joe Biden for contributing towards the doffing of the uniform by former President General Pervez Musharraf. No political party succeeded in forcing Musharraf to shed uniform but it was pressure of the US and Vice President-elect Biden that compelled the General to take off his uniform, he maintained. He said Interior Advisor Rehman Malik has gone to London with his permission to meet MQM chief Altaf Hussain, who is our ally and is with us. This is a routine matter, he added. Without naming MQM, he said that they would soon join the federal cabinet. Answering a query about the prevailing high prices of consumer items, the PM said the whole world is in the grip of recession, which has hit Pakistan also. He said the PML-N decision to join lawyers' movement was its internal affair and "we have no objection to it." He, however, said Pakistan People's Party had made innumerable sacrifices for the restoration of the judiciary. After imposition of the emergency, Benazir Bhutto had decided to launch the movement and she led it in Lahore. "I was also arrested in Lahore and detained at my house declaring it sub-jail," he added. He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a victim of the judicial murder and an investigation should be reopened. He said the PPP had strived hard and offered sacrifices for the strengthening of the institution. He said the PPP was not opposed to Local Government system and intended to make it more effective with the consultation of its coalition partners for which steps would be taken. Earlier, addressing the function at launching of first Small Tanker-cum-Utility Ship built by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works KSEW for Pakistan Navy the Premier pledged that the government would ensure that "Pakistan becomes a leading shipbuilding country in the region in line with its true potential and ideal location." He said it was a remarkable achievement and speaks volumes of new zeal in KSEW. He congratulated KSEW, its engineers, workers on early achievement of the launch the STUS. He hoped that with the speedy pace of construction, new ships would join the Naval Fleet earlier than the scheduled time and contribute towards enhancing fleet capabilities. It would also go a long way in establishing credibility of KSEW as a reliable builder with assured timely deliveries of cost effective and quality ships. Gilani lauded the Navy in showing trust in indigenous construction of its ships and submarines at KSEW. He asked the maritime sector including ports to have their ships built at KSEW as matter of preference and to contribute towards strengthening the shipbuilding sector rather than seeking foreign options. He described the KSEW as a national asset which contributed tremendously in fulfilling naval defence and maritime sector requirements. "I am very much impressed by KSEW's turn around in such a short span of time. Today it is buzzing with activity," he remarked. The Prime Minister said shipbuilding as industry can act as a catalyst for overall industrial, economic development, large-scale employment generation and poverty alleviation. "Allah Almighty has blessed us with great commercially strategic location at the mouth of Gulf and abundant hardworking manpower best suited to the shipbuilding industry. We need to take advantage of these. The government has adopted the vision for new shipyards and developing shipbuilding industry on grand scale," he added. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir and others also attended the ceremony. Agencies add: talking to newsmen Gilani said if the US authorities had any proofs regarding presence of terrorists in tribal areas, then it must provide such proofs to Pakistan. " Our forces will act against them", he maintained. To a question, Gilani said Pakistan would conduct its own investigation into evidence provided by India regarding Mumbai attacks and punish any person found involved under "its own laws as it cannot allow the country's soil to be used for terrorism." "We will react like a responsible country and as I said on Sunday, if they (India) have some evidence or identify that Pakistani soil was used by any terrorist, we will conduct an inquiry and investigation." "If charges are proved, we will punish the persons concerned according to our own laws because we can't allow Pakistan's soil to be used for terrorism. We are totally clear on this," he added. On statements by Indian leaders calling to do more against elements in Pakistan who were allegedly linked to Mumbai attacks, the PM said, "We are a responsible and strong country, we are not acting on anyone's pressure". "We don't want to make any irresponsible statement," he said, adding there would be no compromise on Pakistan's sovereignty. He said powers of the President could be scrapped only if a bill in this regard is presented in the parliament and then passed with a two-thirds majority in both houses. The Prime Minister said Pakistani soil would not be allowed to be used for terrorist activities. Replying to a question, the PM said nominees of MQM would soon be included in the federal cabinet.