Pakistan demands end to U.S. drone strikes

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani parliamentary committee recommending a new direction for ties with the United States said on Tuesday it wants a halt to attacks in Pakistan by U.S. drone aircraft.

Raza Rabbani, the committee's chairman, outlining recommendations in parliament, also said Pakistan should demand an unconditional apology for a Nov. 26 NATO air attack from within Afghanistan that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States have been severely strained since the attack, and Pakistan's government has said that any resumption of cooperation on several issues, including the war on militancy, would depend on the review.

Pakistan's cooperation is seen as critical to U.S efforts to stabilise Afghanistan as the Obama administration winds down combat operations.

Pakistan shut down overland supply routes to NATO troops in land-locked Afghanistan and forced U.S. personnel off an air base in southwest Pakistan that had been used to launch drone strikes on militants on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border.

Rabbani said that if and when supplies to foreign forces in Afghanistan are resumed, the loads may be taxed.

(Reporting by Qasim Nauman and Rebecca Conway; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters

 
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