Pakistan demands end to drone attacks

April 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, April 13 (UPI) -- Pakistani officials presented demands, including an end to U.S. drone attacks, that may lead to reopening of a NATO supply line to Afghanistan, observers said.

Government and opposition leaders presented a unified front in approving a resolution that also called on the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to apologize for airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, The New York Times reported Friday.

The parliamentary resolution declared "no overt or covert operations inside Pakistan shall be permitted," a reference that could be interpreted to include all CIA operations, observers told the Times.

Concerning the NATO supply line, the resolution specified only that arms and ammunition could not be transported through Pakistan to Afghanistan, raising the possibility that war supplies such as food and fuel could resume. The supply line has been blocked since the November airstrikes.

"Today's resolution will enrich your respect and dignity. I assure you that we will get these enforced in letter and spirit," Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said in an address to Parliament.

He did not say when the supply route might reopen.

"We are a responsible nation," Gilani said. "We know our obligations as well as the importance of the United States."

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland welcomed the Parliament's action on the non-binding resolution that will lay the groundwork for further discussion.

"We seek a relationship with Pakistan that is enduring, strategic and more clearly defined," Nuland said. "We look forward to discussing these policy recommendations."

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