Pakistan on Monday condemned the latest US drone strike in the tribal areas and warned that such attacks set ‘dangerous precedents’ in bilateral relations.
According to foreign ministry spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, the unilateral strikes were a “violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Pakistan has repeatedly emphasised the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes,” Chaudhry said in a statement.
The latest attack took place in Mir Ali Tehsil of North Waziristan Agency on June 13.
This was the third such attack since the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took over in June.
Reiterating the stated position, the spokesperson said Pakistan had consistently maintained that drone strikes were “counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilians lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications.”
“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,” he said.
Despite strong public opposition by the new administration in Islamabad, the US has shown no signs of halting the CIA-led drone campaign.
In a testimony before the Abbottabad Commission, Pakistan’s former intelligence Chief Lt General (Retd) Ahmed Shuja Pasha disclosed that although there was no written agreement on drone attacks the two countries had ‘political understanding’ on the issue.
However, a security official clarified that former ISI chief was referring to the earlier understanding former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf had reached with the Bush administration.
A foreign ministry official pointed out that the government of Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz had no such ‘secret deal’ with the US on drone use.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.
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