ISLAMABAD Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday demanded early repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui from the US to Pakistan. The PM while talking to Chairman of US Senates Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry and Richard Armitage conveyed sentiments of the 170 million countrymen to the US officials regarding the illegal abduction and conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui for a crime that she never committed. The Prime Minister suggested to the US officials that in order to improve perceptions attached to the US image in the country, Pakistan should be de-listed from amongst the countries whose nationals had been marked for special screenings at the US airports. It is relevant to mention here that Dr Aafia was abducted by the FBI agents near Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, and had been languishing in the notorious US jails since 2003. After her conviction by a US jury, a chain of countrywide protests and strikes started in Pakistan against the US justice system. In the meeting, Premier Gilani suggested that both the countries through enhanced intelligence sharing and defence cooperation should agree on a joint strategy under which the drone technology would be transferred to Pakistan. A balanced and indiscriminate US approach in this region can help improve the US image and remove misgivings in Pakistan, he added. Prime Minister Gilani stated that any further delay in undertaking the much-needed reconstruction phase through Malakand strategy to rebuild the damaged schools, hospitals, bridges and other infrastructure would accentuate socio-economic problems of the militancy-affected populace. He appreciated the support behind passage of Kerry-Lugar Act but hoped that the re-appropriated funds under this legislation would be channelised through established government mechanisms of Pakistan. While dilating on Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship and his governments strong desire for a stable, peaceful and strong Afghanistan in the interest of overall peace in the region, the Prime Minister said that despite the expiry of deadline for the return of around 3.5 million Afghan refugees, he had allowed them to stay in deference to Afghan Governments wishes. He nonetheless highlighted the fact that around 45,000 Afghans were crossing over the border on the daily basis and were thus making impossible for his government to restrict the movement of militants and drug traffickers between the two countries. While referring to India-Pakistan relations, the Prime Minister reiterated Pakistans strong commitment to resolve all the core issues between the two countries through peaceful means and composite dialogue. Senator Kerry expressed the willingness of the US government for facilitating the resumption of the dialogue process in which all the core issues including Kashmir and water disputes could be discussed and resolved by both sides peacefully. Prime Minister Gilani said that a balanced and indiscriminate US approach in the region could help improve US image and misgivings in Pakistan. He added that his 3-Ds policy (Deterrence, Dialogue & Development) which has now been universally recognised has reached the stage of development of militancy-affected areas and Pakistan hoped that important countries like US would help in carrying out the reconstruction and development work in those areas on priority basis. The Prime Minister welcomed the high-level contacts between the two countries at political, parliamentary, military and economic level and stressed the need for their continuity in order to put the strategic ties at a higher plane. While acknowledging the sacrifices both in terms of men and material the US officials said that US desired for a long-term stable and consistent relations with Pakistan. Secretary Defence and Acting Secretary Finance were also present in the meeting.