Pakistan’s Sharif Asks Obama to End Drone Strikes

By:  Warren Mass
Pakistan’s Sharif Asks Obama to End Drone Strikes

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, meeting with President Obama at the White House at the culmination of a three-day visit to Washington on October 23, asked U.S. President Barack Obama to end drone strikes on his country.

VOA News reported that Sharif emphasized “the need for an end to such strikes.” However, Obama did not mention drones in his remarks to reporters.

The president also said he tried to reassure Sharif about the situation in Afghanistan, where U.S. combat forces are scheduled to withdraw next year. Obama said he is “confident” of a solution “that is good for Afghanistan, but also helps to protect Pakistan over the long term.”

A White House news release issued on the 23rd stated that the two leaders “held wide-ranging discussions ... about the importance of a U.S.-Pakistan partnership built on a foundation of mutual interest and respect” and noted that “our enduring partnership is based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The news release noted that Sharif thanked President Obama for “the important contribution the United States has made in supporting Pakistan’s development efforts, including through the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009.”

The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 (also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Bergman Act) was passed into law on October 15, 2010. It authorized $1.5 billion dollars per year in non-military aid to Pakistan for the period from 2010 to 2014. It significantly increased the civil aid given to Pakistan from previous years.

Both Obama and Sharif, noted the release, “condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Sharif also “shared his perspective on effective counterterrorism cooperation to achieve the mutual objective of defeating terrorism.“

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Photo of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meeting with President Barack Obama on Oct. 23: AP Images

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