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Pakistan's New Government Protests U.S. Drone Strike

Newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right)  during a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Islamabad on Wednesday. Sharif has vowed to end U.S. drone strikes in the country.
Newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right) during a swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Islamabad on Wednesday. Sharif has vowed to end U.S. drone strikes in the country.

Pakistan's new government wasted no time on Saturday in lodging a formal diplomatic complaint with Washington over a U.S. drone strike that reportedly killed seven militants near the Afghan border.

U.S. Charges D'Affaires Richard Hoagland was summoned to Pakistan's Foreign Office to receive the government's official protest. U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson was out of the country at the time of Friday's attack.

"The importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes was emphasized," a Pakistani government statement said of the meeting between Hoagland and Sharif adviser Tariq Fatemi.

"It was also stressed that these drone strikes have a negative impact on the mutual desire of both countries to forge a cordial and cooperative relationship and to ensure peace and stability in the region," the statement added.

A U.S. Embassy official confirmed to The Associated Press that the encounter took place, but did not provide further details.

The attack came just two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's swearing in. Sharif campaigned on a promise to aggressively push back against the unilateral strikes, saying they breached Pakistani sovereignty and inflamed anti-American sentiment in the country.

Sharif has also said he hopes to make peace by opening negotiations with the militants.

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