ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tahreek Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had a one-on-one meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry this afternoon in Islamabad where he told his party’s viewpoint on drone attacks in Pakistan, war on terrorism and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Imran reiterated that drones were a violation of international law and counterproductive as the attacks cause collateral damage in terms of increasing terrorism, said a PTI handout issued here.

This links Pakistan to the US War on terrorism that in turn allows the terrorists to exploit the narrative of armed jihad and raise the suicide bombers.

The PTI told Kerry that to stop the suicide attacks you have to take away the motivation. The only way to effectively deal with this problem is a complete halt of drone strikes. Imran stressed that Pakistan has to delink from the US war on terrorism to deprive the terrorists of the opportunity to exploit the situation.

Talking about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the PTI chief told Secretary Kerry that unless the withdrawal is arranged Pakistan will have to bear the brunt of the mess left behind, as had happened with the chaotic Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. For peaceful withdrawal, all stakeholders must be taken on board, he added.

Kerry asked about Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Imran explained how the province has to bear the major backlash of what happens in Fata as it is surrounded on three sides by the tribal agencies.

He also admitted the provincial police were ill-equipped to fight the terrorists, especially without a holistic national counter-terrorism policy. Imran said he had initiated a request to the central government to immediately develop a national counter terror policy and organisational framework but so far nothing had come out.

Kerry telephones Mamnoon Hussain: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday telephoned President-elect Mamnoon Hussain and conveyed President Barack Obama’s message of felicitation to him. 

The US Secretary of State who is on a visit to Pakistan extended the greetings of the President and the people of United States on being elected as the President of Pakistan.

President-elect Mamnoon Hussain conveyed his best wishes to the US President and expressed the hope that the multifarious ties between the two countries will further strengthen in the days ahead.