Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday criticised America for drone attacks and said he is trying to secure the spy plane technology from the US and seeking enhanced intelligence-sharing so that it can act on its own against militants. Agencies
Gilani raised the issue of drone strikes with a visiting Congressional delegation led by Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, and said American lawmakers should influence the Obama administration to agree on a joint strategy under which drone technology could be transferred to Pakistan.
Addressing the National Assembly or Lower House of Parliament after his meeting with Boehner on Monday, Gilani said he had told the US delegation about growing unrest among the public due to the missile strikes by the CIA-operated spy planes.
"I told him that you will have to respect our political and military efforts if you want to succeed in the war on terror," he said.
"We are trying to secure drone technology from the US so that after gaining information from their intelligence reports, we can hit the militant hideouts in the tribal region," Gilani told the National Assembly.
The war against terror is Pakistan's own war, which it will fight to eliminate an enemy that is posing a serious threat to the country, he added.
Gilani said the US should pass on credible information to Pakistan's intelligence set-up and the country would itself take action against terrorists on its soil.
Though Pakistan publicly opposes the US drone strikes in its tribal belt, analysts say there is a tacit understanding between the two countries on the attacks that have resulted in the elimination of dozens of Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders, including Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud.
Relations between the US' CIA and Pakistan's ISI were strained in the wake of the arrest of CIA contractor Raymond Davis after he gunned down two armed men in Lahore in January.
Though Davis was freed after over two million dollars was paid as "blood money" to the families of the dead men, ties between the two spy agencies are yet to be restored to an even keel and this has affected the CIA's drone campaign.
During the meeting with the US Congressional delegation, Gilani called for the timely release of American financial aid for Pakistan's defence and counter-insurgency campaign so that the country's armed forces could take their "campaign against extremism and militancy to its logical conclusion".
Gilani also hoped that Pakistan and US "would do more together to be on the same page with Afghanistan" on the war-torn country's "reconciliation and reintegration process", a reference to Kabul's efforts to negotiate a settlement with the Afghan Taliban.
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday criticised America for drone attacks and said he is trying to secure the spy plane technology from the US and seeking enhanced intelligence-sharing so that it can act on its own against militants.