x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Pakistan condemns US incursions

Pakistan's foreign minister condemned US attacks that have killed large numbers of Pakistanis along the border with Afghanistan.

DUBAI // Pakistan's foreign minister condemned US attacks that have killed large numbers of Pakistanis along the border with Afghanistan, saying that his country can control its Taliban problem without foreign intervention. "Innocent people have lost their lives. Women and children have lost their lives in these attacks and we have openly spoken out about this to the US," Shah Mahmood Qureshi told Pakistani community leaders and businessmen in Dubai on Friday evening.

"Nato have distanced themselves from these attacks. "If there is action required, the Pakistan army will do it." Yesterday, Islamabad reported the Pakistan army had killed 60 fighters in the Swat valley during the previous day. In the past few months increasing attacks by missile-firing US drones have killed many civilians as well as suspected Taliban militants in the border regions. Mr Qureshi told an audience of expatriate Pakistani community leaders and businessmen at a hotel in Dubai Marina that Pakistan stood firmly against "Talibanisation".

He said Pakistan continued to have a good relationship with the US, despite the recent incursions by its forces along the border area in North Waziristan. The US provides Pakistan with US$80 million (Dh294m) a month in aid. "Pakistan is in the front of the fight against extremism and terrorism that the world faces," he said. pmenon@thenational.ae