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Zardari demands complete ownership of US drone technology

May 14, 2009 03:55 IST
Pakistan wants complete "ownership" of the US drone technology for carrying out strikes against terrorist targets in its territory, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday.
     
"We want ownership of the drone. Democracy doesn't believe in half measures," Zardari told newsmen in London when asked about reports that US has agreed to hand over control of drone aircraft to Islamabad.
     
Speaking shortly after his meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Zardari said Islamabad was "negotiating
terms" over the drones with the US, which has carried out a number of missile strikes in Pakistan's restive tribal areas,
targetting militant hideouts.
     
Pakistan has been bitterly protesting unilateral US drone attacks in its tribal regions, saying they violate its sovereignty and are counter-productive for the war on terror.  Over 360 people, mostly militants, were killed in nearly 40 US drone attacks targetting Taliban in the restive tribal areas since August last year.
     
His comments arise shortly after American army officials revealed that Pakistan will be involved in armed US Predator
missions against militants in its territory under a new partnership giving its military significant control over drone attacks.
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