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Drone strikes are attacks on Pak's self-respect: Nawaz

April 15, 2009 02:48 IST
Describing the United States' drone strikes inside Pakistan as attacks on the Pakistan's "self-reliance and self-respect", opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said no sovereign country can tolerate such attacks.

"Other countries should respect our sovereignty just as we respect others," Sharif, who was in Dubai for a four-day private visit, said.

He, however, chose to return after two days. The two-time former prime minister said that despite political disagreements, his party never asked for mid-term elections in Pakistan and it not do so in the future. "We need to respect each other's mandate in Pakistan," Sharif said, adding that the political situation in Pakistan deteriorated because democracy was derailed and the constitution was not respected.

He brushed aside the rumours that he came to Dubai to meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani - who are also visiting the United Arab Emirates, and said, "Decisions related to the country should be taken inside the country".

On the issue of terrorism, Sharif said Pakistan should take the responsibility to solve the problems of extremism and terrorism but the solution has to be home grown. He also attributed rise of terrorism as a legacy of dictatorships.

"Extremist forces take root during dictatorships. But it is a problem we can solve it ourselves," he added. Sharif also said there are still outstanding issues with the present government despite the restoration of judges.

On Kashmir, he said peace in the region cannot be achieved without the resolution of the problem of Kashmir. "This will happen only when the decision is acceptable to the people of Kashmir. India and Pakistan should find a solution that fulfils the aspirations of the Kashmiri people," he added.

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