Pakistan lodges formal complaint over N Waziristan drone attack

Protests lodged by summoning US political councilor to Foreign Office; similar protest lodged in Washington.

Kamran Yousaf April 30, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday summoned a senior US diplomat to lodge a formal protest over Sunday’s drone attack inside the tribal belt, igniting fresh tensions between the two countries.

“US Political Councilor, Jonathan Pratt was summoned at the Foreign office by Director General America over yesterday’s drone attack,” according to an official statement issued here.

A similar protest was also lodged in Washington to convey Islamabad’s displeasure over the unilateral strikes.

The remotely piloted aircraft targeted an abandoned girls’ high school building used by militants in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan on Sunday, officials and witnesses said. The strike reportedly killed four militants and injured three others.

The Predator attack was the first since the Parliament approved new terms of engagements that seek an immediate halt in the CIA-piloted campaign.

During recent high-level talks, Pakistan had categorically told the US that drones are totally unacceptable.

At a joint news conference with US Special Envoy Marc Grossman last week, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani reiterated Pakistan’s strong opposition to the CIA-piloted drone campaign in the tribal areas.

"We consider drones as illegal, non-productive and accordingly unacceptable," he emphasised.

Separately, President Asif Zardari told the visiting top American diplomat that the two sides should consider setting up a framework of mechanism to find mutually acceptable alternatives to drone strikes in Pakistan.

The Obama administration considers drone campaign crucial to eliminate ‘high value’ targets associated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban from the tribal areas.

But the US policy has now turned out to be one of the major sticking point hindering cooperation between the two countries.

Recently, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar acknowledged that despite Pakistan’s repeated demands, the US was not listening to Pakistan’s demands to stop the drone attacks.


Jamset Ram Sing | 9 years ago | Reply

@j. von hettlingen: Perhaps one can sympathize with Pakistan's plight in removing insurgents of different kinds. America which has a military might greater then the rest of the world put together, and has incredible amounts of sophisticated electronic spyware detection equipment went into the South Asian region obstensibly to bring Osama bin Laden to book. In spite of their best efforts it took them ten years to carry out the task, and even then there is some doubt, because they have not produced any credible evidence. If we use the American example of ten years and presuming there are 500 insurgents in Pakistan it will take 5,000 years to kill them all.

j. von hettlingen | 9 years ago | Reply

These drone attacks are - per se - illegal, yet there are two sides of the story. Pakistan accuses the U.S. of violation of its territorial sovreignty. The U.S. insists it has no choice as it has been urging Pakistan repeatedly to get rid of the Haqqani insurgents in North Waziristn, who stage attacks on the ISAF in Afghanistan.

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