US drone strikes in Pakistan to continue

2012-06-06 22:24
Leon Panetta. (Jim Watson, AP)

Leon Panetta. (Jim Watson, AP)

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New Delhi - Just two days after a drone strike killed al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta made it clear on Wednesday that such attacks will continue as long as the US needs to defend itself against terrorists that threaten America.

Speaking in India - on Pakistan's doorstep - Panetta unapologetically dismissed suggestions that the strikes could violate Pakistan's sovereignty.

"This is about our sovereignty as well," he said when answering questions from the audience after a speech at an Indian think tank.

And he was blunt about the difficulties in the US relationship with Pakistan, as insurgents continue to find safe haven there, despite repeated protests from American leaders.

"It's a complicated relationship, often times frustrating, often times difficult," Panetta said.

"They have provided some co-operation. There are other times when frankly that cooperation is not there. But the United States cannot just walk away from that relationship.

"We have to continue to do what we can to try to improve [the] areas where we can find some mutual co-operation."

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  india  |  pakistan  |  us

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