Pakistan to boycott trilateral Afghan talks over US drone attack civilian casualties

Islamabad, Mar 25(ANI): Pakistan has acknowledged that last week's drone attack on a tribal peace congregation in North Waziristan Agency, which killed over 40 innocent people, has strained its relations with the United States, and that it has decided to boycott the March 26 trilateral talks in Brussels over the issue.

"Pakistan has always opposed US drone attacks, and killing of innocent people is totally unacceptable to us," The Nation quoted Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua, as saying while responding to a volley of questions during her weekly briefing.

She said there is no further development on the trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US, as Pakistan had conveyed to America that it would not attend the proposed meeting due to the recent drone attacks.

There is also no progress on the Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue originally scheduled to be held in Islamabad next month, she added.

Janjua, however, stated that Pakistan has made serious efforts to upgrade its relations with the United States despite their differences on the drone attack issue.

During the briefing, the spokesperson also said that Pakistan has never tried to block negotiations on disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, and that it intends to have assurance on the security of the non-nuclear states.

"In fact, some other countries have been engaged in blocking these negotiations for decades," she added.

Janjua also said the interior secretaries of Pakistan and India will be meeting on March 28-29 in New Delhi to take up terrorism, counter narcotics and humanitarian issues.

"Pakistan believes that dialogue is the only way forward which must be uninterrupted and uninterruptible," she said, adding, "We look forward to positive results from the Interior and Home Secretaries' talks."

The spokesperson said that a meeting of commerce and trade secretaries of both countries would be held in Islamabad next month, followed by foreign secretaries and foreign ministers' meeting in July in New Delhi under the revival of the fully-fledged dialogue process between India and Pakistan.

"Pakistan attaches immense importance to promoting relations with Central Asian Republics, particularly trade and economy for common development of the people," she said.

Copyright Asian News International/