| GEO Pakistan|
| Predator strikes violating Pak territorial sovereignty: Zardari|
| Updated at: 1126 PST, Friday, November 14, 2008|
NEW YORK: President Asif Ali Zardari Friday said the US predator attacks inside Pakistan’s territory were undermining the efforts to win hearts and minds of the people.
“It’s undermining my sovereignty and it’s not helping win the war on the hearts and minds of people,” President Zardari said in an interview to a foreign news channel.
Responding to the increase in the number of U.S. predator strikes on Pakistani soil, the President said “obviously the people who are using the strikes are confident that they’re doing something. Otherwise they wouldn’t be at it.”
He said the predator strikes and the ground raids by the US forces inside the Pakistani territory were unwelcome.
“Anybody who needs to come to Pakistan needs to have a passport and a visa. So whether it’s ground forces or air forces they need a visa and if they don’t have a visa they’re not allowed,” he said.
President Zardari however said that Pakistan was not being provided any information about the attacks. “They do not happen with our knowledge,” he said and added that any prior information would be a welcome step.
President Zardari said the new US adminstration needs to let Pakistan take appropriate measures against extremist or terrorist elements on its own.
“The challenge for this new administration, will be to allow us to have the capability of doing more. We want to do more. It’s our war. “
The President when asked whether a big terrorist attack was likely to be planned in the tribal areas, said “Well I can assure the American people that nothing like that is going to happen in my watch.”
The President categorically stated that Pakistan would not allow use of its tribal areas to stage any terrorist attack against the United States of America.
He however said “there’s always a danger of them (terrorists). I didn’t know that they’d be successful in getting my wife. We thought we’d protect her but we couldn’t. But to say we’d allow it to happen. No.”