Pakistan orders end to U.S. use of drones
WASHINGTON — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he'd told President Obama on Wednesday that American drone strikes in his country need to end.
The remarks were made as the two leaders met in person for more than two hours in high-level talks aimed at beginning to mend a historically troubled relationship.
Sharif, who described the Oval Office talks as “cordial and comprehensive,” said Pakistan and the United States have agreed to cooperate further on counterterrorism measures, but he nevertheless said he'd raised the issue of drone strikes with Obama, “emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes.”
His visit occurred a day after the White House defended the drone program as it disputed claims by two human rights groups that its targeted-killing program violates international law and often has killed civilians, including a grandmother in Pakistan.
Obama didn't mention the controversial targeted-killing program, but he said leaders had talked about the need to work together to curb terrorism and extremism — in ways that “respect Pakistan's sovereignty” and address both countries' concerns.
“I'm optimistic that we can continue to make important strides in moving forward,” the president said, noting that terrorist attacks have affected both countries. “It's a challenge. It's not easy, but we committed to working together and making sure that rather than this being a source of tension between our two countries that it can be a source of strength.”
Obama said the United States considered Pakistan “a very important strategic partner” and thinks “that if Pakistan is secure and peaceful and prosperous, that's not only good for Pakistan, it's good for the region, and it's good for the world.”
The president said the two had “spent a lot of time” talking about Pakistan's economy and that the United States would look to boost trade opportunities with the country.
They also discussed Afghanistan, and Obama said he'd pledged to “fully brief” Sharif on the Afghan elections and “long-term strategy for stability in the region.” Sharif said Pakistan is committed to a “peaceful and stable Afghanistan.”
The president said he was encouraged by Sharif's recent meeting with the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.
“I think he is taking a very wise path and exploring how the tension between India and Pakistan could be reduced,” Obama said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suspect in Colorado clinic attack Dear makes court appearance
- Atlantic Coast cities rise up against offshore drilling plans
- EPA increases ethanol in gasoline supply for 2016
- New York City’s salt warning rule to take effect at chain restaurants
- Opposition mounts to genetic modification of human embryos
- Police shooting of black teen cited in University of Chicago threat
- ‘Homeland’ to hair: Emails peek into Hillary Clinton’s personal life
- Storm dumps snow on Northern Plains
- House majority leader predicts no government shutdown over Planned Parenthood
- Cleveland panel OKs lakefront Superman statue
- House may move quickly to overhaul visa waiver program