Sherry says drone campaign counterproductive


In an effort to repair ties between Washington and Islamabad, Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman on Thursday asked for greater US trade access for her country.
She also stated Pakistan’s position on American drone strikes, claiming they are counterproductive and reverse gains made in their relationship.
In an opinion piece, the Pakistani envoy sought the new US Congress’s help in materializing the elusive trade initiative whilst underlining Pakistan’s commitment to the fight against terror. The ambassador also highlighted to American lawmakers the elected government’s democratic and anti-terror achievements over the past five years.
“I appreciate US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson’s words that al Qaeda has largely been eliminated in the region due to joint Pak-US efforts, and hope that this will trigger a more meaningful conversation on ending U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan,” she wrote in a piece posted by The Hill Congressional daily.
She also addressed the case for enhanced trade access to the US market. The envoy pointed out that think tank studies have shown that the impact of greater market access to Pakistan on US jobs will be negligible while the economic impact on the Pakistani side will be enormous. “It will spur economic activity, generate employment, give the country’s enormous youth cohort an avenue to earn a living, and above all, give ordinary Pakistanis a stake in an enduring Pakistan-US relationship,” she said.