Islamabad: Criticising US drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal belt, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said Islamabad is applying diplomatic pressure on Washington to stop the missile strikes as they undermine efforts to fight extremism and terrorism.
 
Gilani made the remarks in the National Assembly or Lower House of Parliament; hours after US drones targeted a compound in the restive South Waziristan tribal region, killing six suspected militants.

The strike was the first since March 17, when over 40 people were killed as the CIA-operated spy planes targeted what Pakistani officials said was a tribal jirga.

Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and diplomatic channels are being used to compel the US to stop drone attacks as they are counter-productive, Gilani said in response to various issues raised by Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Pakistan had informed other countries that the drone strikes were creating problems for the government, he said.

"Under a well thought out strategy, we had separated the tribesmen from militants. Whenever a drone attack is carried out, it unites the militants and the tribal people. This creates problems for the government because no war is won without the support of the people," he said.

He said his government had united the "whole nation in fighting terrorism" by adopting a rational strategy that isolated terrorists and militants from the tribesmen.

The security forces too had conducted successful operations against militants, he remarked.

Media reports had claimed that the Pakistani military had told the CIA to limit its drone campaign.

Agencies