The next US president must halt missile strikes on insurgent targets in northwest Pakistan or risk failure in efforts to end militancy in the Muslim country, the prime minister warned Tuesday.
Yousuf Raza Gilani said visiting US Gen. David Petraeus "looked convinced" when he warned him the strikes were inflaming anti-American sentiment, but that he got no guarantee that they would end.
Gilani's remarks in an interview with The Associated Press underscore the challenge the next US president faces in shaping a policy to deal with the militant threat in nuclear-armed Pakistan and its new civilian leaders.
They also revealed the rising strain the missile strikes have placed on relations between the two nations seven years after the September 11 attacks forced them into an uneasy alliance.
"No matter who the president of America will be, if he doesn't respect the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan ... anti-America sentiments and anti-West sentiment will be there," Gilani said as US voters chose between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain in the race for the White House.
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