Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't take Pakistan for granted: US told

National Don't treat Pakistan as client state: US told Updated at 430 PST Friday, March 18, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakisatn on Friday gave a strong reaction to Thursday's drone strike in its tribal area, in which around 44 persons were killed, telling the United States (US) not to take it for granted or treat it as a client state.

Pakistan termed the attack on a gathering of tribal elders in Datta Khel region of North Waziristan on March 17 as "unacceptable" and "a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law."

"Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state," the US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter was told by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office said that Ambassador Munter was informed in categorical terms that with the incident it was evident that "the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited."

"It was for the White House and the State Department to hold back those who have been trying to veer Pakistan-US relationship away from the track," the statement said.

The US Ambassador was summoned in pursuance of the directives of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Ambassador Munter was categorically conveyed that such strikes were not only "unacceptable" but also constituted "a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law".

The US Ambassador was also conveyed that under the current circumstances, Pakistan would not be able to participate in the trilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US, proposed by the US in Brussels on March 26.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar was initially expected to participate in the trilateral meeting.

Ambassador Munter said that he understood clearly that this was not a pro demarche. He would rush to Washington to convey Pakistan's message to the US Administration at the highest levels.

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