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In pursuance of the directives of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, the US Ambassador, Mr. Cameron Munter was summoned to the Foreign Office today by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and a strong protest was made regarding yesterday’s Drone attacks that caused many casualties.

Ambassador Munter was categorically conveyed that such strikes were not only “unacceptable” but also constituted “a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law”. It was evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited. Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state. 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.

Ambassador Munter was also conveyed that under the current circumstances, Pakistan would not be able to participate in the Trilateral meeting between Afghanistan-Pakistan-US, proposed by the US in Brussels on 26 March 2011. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, was initially expected to participate in the Trilateral.

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

18 March 2011

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