US drone strike: Pakistan boycotts trilateral meeting in protest

Published: March 19, 2011
Munter told such strikes "unacceptable", also "constituted a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law." PHOTO: FILE/NNI

Munter told such strikes "unacceptable", also "constituted a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law." PHOTO: FILE/NNI


A fresh diplomatic row erupted between Pakistan and the United States after issues concerning Thursday’s deadly drone strike intensified on Friday when Islamabad said it would boycott a Washington-proposed meeting next week and called for ‘revisiting’ the fundamentals of bilateral relations.

In what appears to be the harshest reaction in four years to civilian deaths in drone attacks, the Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador stationed in Islamabad to convey Pakistan’s sentiments on what a top official termed a ‘flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law.’

Officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US were scheduled to attend the trilateral meeting in the Belgian capital Brussels on March 26.

“Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state. Such strikes are unacceptable,” a strongly worded statement quoted Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir telling US Ambassador Cameron Munter.

The reaction came on the heels of similar resentment expressed by top Pakistani political and military leadership against the second deadliest attack ever in which 40 people, mostly tribal elders,  The strike, which took place in the Datta Khel tehsil of the North Waziristan tribal region close to the Afghan border, reportedly targeted a meeting of the tribal council or jirga which had convened to resolve a dispute over a mountain containing precious minerals.

A regional commander and 12 foot soldiers of the pro-Pakistan militant group of Hafiz Gul Bahadur were among the dead – an apparent reason for the harsh reaction by the country’s politico-military establishment.

The strike came a day after a court in Lahore set free Raymond Davis, a contractor for the CIA who was arrested two months ago for killing two Pakistanis.

The Army was the first to react against the deadly strike followed by similar heated statements from Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari.

“Munter was clearly informed that such attacks will lead to Pakistan and US revising the fundamentals of their relationship,” said the statement issued after the meeting between the foreign secretary and the US ambassador.

The Foreign Office also stated that it was for the White House and the US State Department to hold back those who have been trying to veer the Pakistan-US relationship off track.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, US Embassy Spokesperson Alberto Rodriguez confirmed that Ambassador Munter did visit the Foreign Office but refused to comment on the specifics of the meeting. Munter, however, said
that he will make sure that the country’s sentiments are conveyed to Washington, adding that Pakistan’s message would be delivered to the highest level of the US Administration.

An earlier round of the trilateral talks, scheduled to take place in at the end of February, was cancelled by the United States in February, apparently in protest of the detention of CIA contractor Raymond Davis.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (63)

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 5:17PM

    American Embassy in Islamabad and US Consulates in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar should be closed for the next 10 years, from 2011 to 2021, because American diplomats, politicians and rulers illegally murdered thousands of innocent Pakistanis through US military/CIA drone missile attacks in Pakistan, which were unlawfully authorized by Pakistani corrupt tyrants. All US diplomats in Pakistan must be prosecuted for their crimes, because they are US CIA spies and supporters of US terrorism against all Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:18PM

    this is just some drama for consumption by the foolish public. Most likely the FO asked for more dollars and to expediate the aid that is preventing a financial collapse of the government.Recommend

  • Gill
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:20PM

    During the meeting, FO conveyed the following message to the Ambassador

    ” Sir, our Prime Minister has wished if you could forward his request to CIA not to drop more than two bombs in a day. More bombs result in more deaths per day which lead to more protests from the public. We are and would always remain your puppets”Recommend

  • Hassan
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:24PM

    This all has been done because people are now criticizing the army. Our Army is also a puppet of USA and just to assert that army is strong this all drama is going onRecommend

  • Tahir
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:38PM

    Reverse the situation, if 40 innocent americans were killed by ISI, what would the reaction have been from america? Summoning him isn’t going to do nothing. Spineless leaders make Pakistani blood cheap.Recommend

  • rahat
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:38PM

    So Pakistan has a foreign office as well, I am surprised to know this!!!!Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 5:50PM

    But Americans are already paying 2 Billion$ every year for slaughtering Pakistanis.Why all this Fuss about?Recommend

  • Ron(Indian)
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:56PM

    This drone attack matter needs to be resolved to its logical conclusion.. Drone attack is done on behalf of pak autorities including army, ISI, which is clear terms of volation. Why can’t pak army protect it’s terretory on eatern border? It’s because it is one of the most unprofessional army.. That’s the truth. Pak army is much more interested in ruling the country rather than borders.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:20PM

    A move to defuse the anger created after RD release.Recommend

  • Asad
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:23PM

    This is a country where even army is making its public foolRecommend

  • Fact Check
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:27PM


    Excellent idea indeed. That means, US can turn off the money spout, right?Recommend

  • Copper
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:27PM

    Army is just trying to save its face after its submissive role in Ramond Davis release. Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 6:46PM

    At last, Something good from Pakistan Government and Army.Recommend

  • kinza
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:47PM

    “Topi Drama” both by Pak Army and US.

    I have no power and authority to help my Muslim brothers in tribal areas what I can do is pray for the souls of those who got killed in this incident .

    In the name of so-called “strategic- depth” in Afghanistan we have killed our brothers , and are on knees in front of a world dictator “US” . Our army is no more an army its pack of wolfs and hyenas eating its own children.

    I pray to Allah for the strength and his kindness Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 6:58PM

    Pakistan summons US envoy for a cup of tea with some snacks at FO. Recommend

  • Kazmis
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:58PM

    Every incident when happens like Dr. Afia, Drone Attack or Raymond case people of Pakistanis start shouting and commenting as they are a brave and conscious nation but in the end all are found playing with Dollars. Pakistanis can not remove even corrupt rulers from their shoulders like Musharraf and present corrupt bunch of rulers, what to say about America who is keeping all Arabs and most of Muslims countries under its feet.Recommend

  • aamer
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:06PM

    Kudos to pakistan army who cant handle the tribes and sort out the bad taliban from local inhabitants who end up getting drones bombs.

    Why pakistan army is not acting and attacking the taliban .

    its because they want to money to keep pouring to them.They dont care about lives.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:14PM

    Drone attacks will continue until terrorists stop residing in FATA.Recommend

  • rk
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:16PM

    What are these pakis complainig about?? First stop begging billions of dollars from USA before you open your mouths. Recommend

  • Adnan Mahmood
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:17PM

    May be Pakistani authorities should turn more towards its European allies and involve them into the discussion going on between Pak and US. Then the involved European country’s media will reflect their side of story and from there we would get the right picture of what is going on actually.
    From the news and the comments above, it seems people are confused of who is right and who is wrong. Sometime it seems Pakistani authorities are cleaning American way to attack its area while some time it seems US is unilaterally doing this. Involvement of third pary together with China would divert the suspicious eyes from both parties or from Pakistan at least. Recommend

  • Nael
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:32PM

    US $ 126,000,000,000,000 to kill everyone in Pakistan. The rate set for two killed by RD. Better still, pay the politicians only US $ 126,000,000 and they will kill everyone with their own hands. Pakistani blood is cheap. Slaughter the nation for continuing to elect the the worst people on earth.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:03PM

    FO must have begged Mr. Cameron Munter to please come Sir and save our souls. We are really very sorry to keep Raymond Davis behind the bars for such a long period. For our sake and from our expenses kindly go for a pleasure trip to your country so that we may once again (as usual) fool our people. We are really sorry for the inconvenience caused. You know Sir “g” we are your “Most Obedient Servants” hehehehehe (certainly with lot of sheepish smiles). Recommend

  • KM
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:06PM

    I had respect for the COAS amongst all the powerful ones in Islamabad, but after seeing Raymond Davis’s case, and then sudden remarks of COAS on the drone attacks, after a million attacks earlier, it seems as if he is doing some sort of a drama as well. For a common man now, even he carries no respect, as he has been compromising on the security of the country, though maintained to be most powerful amongst all the power quarters. Recommend

  • bunny
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:14PM

    Hello Mr Drone….See u are viscous and rude….come on grow up…you have killed thousands of innocent people….just rain your blessings once in islamabad on parliament……then we will be sending you the bill for diyat……Recommend

  • MK
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:29PM

    The country got independence way back in 1947 but the nation NOT. When we will get independence?Recommend

  • Salman
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:40PM

    The news is pakistan army is busy making ACHAR out of nuclear bombs and these will be readily available in the market for pakistanis to consume. According to ISPR, they don’t have the courage to stand up to their masters. Recommend

  • Jupiter
    Mar 18, 2011 - 9:01PM

    Dear Govt./Opposition/Judiciary/Army

    Your credibility is gone. Save the PR money for your masters.

    I hope you all got replaced soon from people in AfghanistanRecommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 9:39PM

    Munter to discuss how to shut these ‘Pakis’ up. ‘How much dollars’ ,precisely.Recommend

  • karachiite
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:10PM

    @Bunny : considering the kind of scum that defile that swamp called parliament I for once would allow US to do it for free no diyat Recommend

  • khan bacha
    Mar 19, 2011 - 1:01AM

    to defuse the tension prevaling in the country the game has been arranged jointly by ISPR and CIA and all characters are playing their role just like puppet show.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Mar 19, 2011 - 1:02AM

    We are servants of USA and our high ups should stop pretending that they are with the people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • John
    Mar 19, 2011 - 1:11AM

    Reading that PAK people are actually asking Drone to drop on their parliament, things must be really bad in PAK. Sad.Recommend

  • Aamer
    Mar 19, 2011 - 1:21AM

    The actual headline should be ‘FO on the behest of GHQ sent a request to Sir Munter to please come to the office and atleast appreciate our roles in setting Raymond free’Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 19, 2011 - 1:40AM

    I have not seen news of Pak protest in any international news website. BBC; Washington Post….

    Was that protest made in and for Pakistanis only??????????? Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Mar 19, 2011 - 1:44AM

    America: Give us back our Raymond Davis
    Pakistan: OK Sir, but in return please consider giving us some money and a chance for our foreign office to summon your envoy just ONCE. Please Please.
    America: Hmmm…okRecommend

  • Mohammed Moinuddin
    Mar 19, 2011 - 4:17AM

    In Pakistan the real power is in GHQ who are under the control or under the command of USA’s Military leadership and we all know about it.And our GHQ in turn controls the parliament .judicialry and the civilian leadership.So therefeore the release of RD is not a surprise to a large number of Pakistanis.RD should have been released immediately after his arrest with out any questing but he was held in jail for creating a DRAMA which was produced for public entertainment and home cosumption(good or bad).This will disappear after few weeks and life will be be normal

    People have not forgotten that the same Military leadership and Judiciary at one stage hanged a elected Prime Minister and after few years another elected Prime Minister was sent into exile.Therefore as a nation we should not complain because the protector of the the country is under the control of outside powers.We also connot blame them as beggers cannot be chooser’s(for us green card is most important)Recommend

  • Samuel
    Mar 19, 2011 - 5:14AM

    Its just a drama by Army and government to cool down people after Davis release.Recommend

  • bvindh
    Mar 19, 2011 - 7:35AM

    I don’t understand why people blame politicians. They come from same Pakistani society and were elected by the same society. Bad leaders are just a reflection of the state of the society. If there is anyone to blame, blame yourself.Recommend

  • Shahzad S. Janjua
    Mar 19, 2011 - 11:55AM

    Only drama is being played to show to the public, that how stern measures we are upholding.

    This is not the first time, they missed the target. It has happened before as well.

    So from my side, it’s crap. I even didn’t bothered to read the full article.Recommend

  • JKS
    Mar 19, 2011 - 11:57AM

    Ghulam hukmran aur protest .. just like two sides of rivers .. good jokes to make laugh american .. haaaha hahaa.. american will be really laughing on this protest and will saying each other MERI BILLI AUR MUJH SE MIANU ,, wait more dollars are coming to the bank account of our leaders………. Recommend

  • parvez
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:16PM

    All credit to the person who chose the picture. It clearly shows who’s lecturing and who’s listening.Recommend

  • Zahid Hussain
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:42PM

    In response to the protest the U. S. Ambassador “ALLEGEDLY laughed and asked the foreign office:


  • shafaqat ali
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:43PM

    Can Tribune team select some comments from this forum and make it part of talk shows as the public does not have any means to ask questions to rulers directly. Can someone please think over it, Our voice should not go wasted because on this forum only we read each other like we discuss in drawing rooms. This will be a step further. Read out the selected ones, as it is. They should know what the public sentiments are? Recommend

  • Arslan
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:59PM

    Our establishment is funny as hell at least. They’ve sold our country for some dollars recently, and know they play the ‘hey wi gat soviriniti two bro’ in order to gain the poor awam’s sympathy. These guys are just playing, don’t take it too seriously. They are drinking Afghan-Pakistani blood for years, they don’t give a sh*t about the poor drone killings…Recommend

  • Nasir Jamal
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:06PM

    They criticize the government but thy keep on sending the same people who have been tested time and again to the corridors of power. It is easy to criticize because you only have to move your tongue. It is difficult to act because it requires a willingness to bring about a change. People of Pakistan must also realize that angels would not descend from heaven to change their fate. Making critical comments would also not help. They would have to act and now is the time.Recommend

  • Fahd hassan
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:09PM

    Time up for diplomacy; Pakistan Army should either be with the pathans or act like Lebanese Army during Israeli invasion of 2006. We here are out of our minds this has upset every one to the point that even moderate pathans are into the fray now. These yanks and their friends need to be taught some lesson in war fare.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Why not handover the country for the next ten years to the americans and see if they can create 50 independent states without shedding a drop of blood! Or if they have the wisdom to
    change our psyche and after ten years leave a single nation ten times wiser. Recommend

  • Realist
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:55PM

    @Fahd hassan:

    We cannot take on the yanks. They don’t come alone you know? Those B-52s, F-15s, etc. are kind of difficult to defeat for a 3rd world nation like us.Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Mar 19, 2011 - 3:14PM

    With one hand Uncle Sam hands the Shield to our forces to defend the nation against terrorists.
    And with the other hand he hands the Sword to—————
    The day we stop running circles and away from realities of life, we will also stop thinking in the
    manner of the two top lines of this comment. We need to find the direction that we lost and once we have found it? God would find us too and until then——Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Mar 19, 2011 - 3:53PM

    They are just acting now.Recommend

  • Imran
    Mar 19, 2011 - 7:08PM

    The question is why there is a situation where the US has to intervene. Why had the Pakistan Army not already cleared the areas of criminals?Recommend

  • MK
    Mar 19, 2011 - 7:37PM

    How many Anti-Americans will lead from here. Enormous! Mr.PM, President, COAS, DG ISAI, You cant figure out long-lasting impact of such acts. What about sovereignty of Pakistan which you talking about?? LONG LIVE PAKISTANRecommend

  • Kamran Khan
    Mar 20, 2011 - 12:11AM

    Oh !!! they should protest and cry becoz they have given them less dollars as was agreed !!!! This is very bad as the agreement was to give more dollars and now they have paid them less. Poor babies have to cry now and beg from from their maters to kill innocent pakistanis.Recommend

  • Goga
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:50AM

    Time Pakistan should develop its own drones and deploy them in neighbouring countries like India, Afghanistan and Iran. We should not take any advise from the imperial fascists…Recommend

  • Ajay
    Mar 20, 2011 - 7:29AM

    It just means that for international media and people in other countries, Pakistani don’t count any more.Recommend

  • Ajay
    Mar 20, 2011 - 7:59AM

    each comment is so funny. It shows the depth of feelings of the Pakistani people (the same bloggers here) and I respect them.

    However it seems that the people of Pakistan have been sleeping and have woken up too late. Infact only the sane people (10-15% of population- one can’t be sure also of how many because we have already seen how the educxated in army and judiciary and civilians behave- very obnoxious, religeous in orientation and totally intolerant) seem to be awake as seen in the Tribune blogs. Other newspapers dont even invite comments.

    The myth of the Pakistani army being super-duper will be broken eventually when they will have to face NATO forces one day like Libya is facing today and like Iraq did. Even other Muslims and Arabs will not side with Pakistan- one reason being Pakisanis differentiate between different secst of Muslims what to talk of minorities. Look how US/Nato is screwing Gaddafi. They 1st made him give compensation for Lockerbiew (hefty), then made him give up nuclear, now they are using Arab voices and Libya’s own citizens as a pretext to justify FINAL ACTION. The strategy is to take away his strenght- Army and Equipments/posts. They had 1st given him to choice to relcoate to Libya with sufficient funds which he did not agree. The same things could very well happen to Pakistan one day. When Pakistani people reel under shortages and salaries couldn’t be given because of bakruptcy, they will come out on the streets againt the army. if army uses its power against people (which it WILL do because it will want to keep its power base) or if mullah forces do something or if something happens inUS city(real or make believe), Pakistan army is going to get engaged just like Libyan army is.

    Should any Indian sympathise with Pakistan then? Irrespective of the few nice people here, it will be difficult. Pakistanis have caused a lot of pain to India and spared no effort to bring it down or turn people against it- right from pre-independce days. They acted to slow down the forces of liberation and later to bog it down in super power rivalry and through terrorists. They created a situation where foreigners can easily play the divide and rule techniques thay have always played just like with Iraq/Iran and now with Libya.

    Let anybody correct me but I doubt that Indians and Pakistanis can sink their differences ever to be able to stand united in thoughts and action even as 2 different countries. We can never have joint defense strategies. It can NEVER happen. History is proof of tit. The day we try to make extra efforts to jon hands with Pakistan, even before US and world work to seperate us, 80% of Pakistani people will make sure that the relationship is posisoned.Recommend

  • saad
    Mar 21, 2011 - 1:24AM

    this is the right time to declare war on americans and bomb them to stone ages. we are superior martial races.. it’s time to finish off america from world mapRecommend

  • Mar 21, 2011 - 8:26AM

    Everyone seems to ignore the fact that Pakistan is NOT a world power. Pakistan is a nation of beggars who sell their mothers and daughters on a daily basis. You expect more from your government….your ego is so big your hear does not even fit through the door anymore.

    This country has no self respect so why do you expect others to respect it? If you want it to change….Pakistanis need to MAKE that change….not wait for someone else to do it for them.Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    Mar 21, 2011 - 10:04AM

    Right on spot.

    If it was sarcasm it was really funny :)

    @all my dear pakistani and indian bloggers ( and readers)
    Secret to happiness is peace with thy neighbor next door and beware of those people who uses your emotion to misguide you. Both our nations need to stand up against the leaders, religious fanatics and military mercenaries who would keep spreading lies and keep us wanting hate each other.

    Peace to my people ( India and Pakistan)Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 22, 2011 - 6:11PM

    Munter is doing just fine —- thank you. We, Pakistanis will see the value of the ‘drones’ once they have the wisdom to realize what the Taliban & Al-Qaeda and their associates are upto. More power to the ‘drones’ —- everywhere —- South or North Waziristan and everywhere else —– get them all, before they get us.Recommend

  • In God We Trust.
    Apr 8, 2011 - 8:08PM

    We only trust in God not for following his orders but for doing what pleases us! We want Muslims to prove if Islam really means peace or our T.J terry jones is more peaceful?Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana.
    Apr 9, 2011 - 8:51AM

    Americans only understand taste of their own medicine i.e. Aspirin, freedom fighting as was done against Russia which would be acceptable to all the parties.Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana.
    Apr 9, 2011 - 9:22AM

    @John: You may know that the freedom fighting can only correct problems here as was done in the past. In any case, like it or not Islam will rise and it would be good for all the parties. Non Muslim and even some Muslims think if this happens they will loose a lot of fun which they may have in absence of Islam. Justice peace and care in the God’s World can never be acheived by any other method (seeing is beleiving). Humans always want that God must do it first than they will follow God’s words which never happens! Recommend

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