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US Concerned About Pakistani 'Harassment,' Pakistan Critical of US Drones

U.S. officials in Pakistan are expressing concern about alleged ongoing harassment involving U.S. diplomatic vehicles, while Pakistan is criticizing alleged U.S. drone strikes.

In a Thursday statement, U.S. embassy officials urge Pakistan to address what they say are "continued provocative actions" and "false allegations" made against American workers who are trying to implement the new partnership between U.S. and Pakistani leaders.

The statement says the most recent incident occurred Wednesday when security forces in the southwestern city Gwadar detained an official U.S. vehicle carrying two Pakistani consulate workers. U.S. officials say the workers official police escort was also detained, even though everyone possessed the required documents and had previously met with Pakistan's police commissioner.

Meanwhile, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has told a visiting U.S. congressional delegation that U.S. drone pilotless aircraft strikes in Pakistan are undermining what he called "the national consensus" on the country's war against militants.

Mr. Zardari said U.S. policy-makers should give drone technology to Pakistan. The president said the move would allow militants to be targeted by Pakistan's national security forces instead of "foreign troops," which raises "questions of sovereignty."

Senator John McCain was part of the delegation that met with the Pakistani leader. At an earlier stop in Afghanistan, McCain praised drone strikes as an effective tactic against militants.

On Wednesday, suspected U.S. drone strikes killed at least 13 people near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. The U.S. does not publicly claim responsibility for such attacks. But drone strikes in Pakistan are widely believed to be overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.