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Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:27AM
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has reminded visiting American lawmakers of his nation’s great dismay with persisting US assassination drone attacks in Pakistan, describing the strikes as counterproductive. Zardari emphasized to the American Congressional delegation on Tuesday that the sentiments of Pakistani people were greatly hurt by US-led airstrikes on its border checkpoints last November, expressing hope that the US side would demonstrate a greater understanding for the nation’s frustration over the issue. He further told the American delegation in a meeting in Rawalpindi that the continuing US assassination drone attacks over Pakistan’s territory were undermining cooperative exchanges between the two countries. The visit by US lawmakers comes at a time as negotiations on the reopening of the NATO supply lines for the US-led forces in Afghanistan have failed. The two sides have held talks in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad over the past six weeks without reaching an agreement. Observers believe that Pakistan has demanded a payment of $5,000 for the passage of each NATO supply truck through its territory, whereas the US-led Western military alliance has been ‘paying only $250’ to the Pakistani government for the passage of each NATO vehicle. US-Pakistani ties have deteriorated in the past six months, following a US-led aerial strike against a Pakistani border post that killed 24 of the country’s military personnel near the Afghan border. MFB/ GHN/MA