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Whether Pak likes it or not, US drone strikes will go on

Last updated on: August 24, 2012 15:26 IST

Whether Pak likes it or not, US drone strikes will go on

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Tahir Ali in Islamabad

Whether Islamabad sees it as acceptable or unacceptable, lawful or unlawful the US drone strikes would continue in the tribal areas of Pakistan, writes Tahir Ali

The United States, on Friday, once again mocked the protest of Pakistan by hitting three different places of North Waziristan with drones that resulted in the killing of around two dozen terrorists.

On Thursday, Pakistan's Foreign Office had summoned a senior American diplomat to protest against drone strikes in the country's troubled tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office spokesman, the US Embassy in Pakistan was "demarched on recent drone strikes in North Waziristan". 

The unnamed diplomat was told that the attacks were unacceptable, unlawful and a violation of the country's sovereignty.

"The drone strikes were unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty; It was emphatically stated that such attacks were unacceptable," said an official statement.

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The US State Department also confirmed that an American diplomat had a meeting with Pakistani officials at the ministry of foreign affairs in Islamabad as Pakistan.

A day later, US drones struck for the fourth time in a month and hit three different areas in Shawal sub-division of North Waziristan.

The drones fired 10 missiles and killed 18 terrorists and injured 14.

In total, at least 30 militants have been killed this month.

Since 2004, the US had launched a total of 337 drone strikes in Pakistan, killing over 3,000 people.

London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism noted that 284 of these strikes were ordered by the Barack Obama administration. The strikes also killed up to 879 civilians, including 175 children. The number of those injured is around 1,500.

The US has increased drone strikes in Pakistan when reports have been doing the rounds about a possible military operation in North Waziristan.

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Fearing a military operation, foreigner terrorists have started vacating North Waziristan.

"The foreigners have started leaving North Waziristan; they are going across the border into Afghanistan and also to other parts of the tribal areas," Saleem Dawar, a local of North Waziristan told rediff.com.

He further said that once again the poor tribesmen would become prey to military in case the operation is launched.

"When the operation was launched in South Waziristan, the TTP leadership rushed to North Waziristan and the innocent tribesmen became victims; once again the same situation has arisen. The TTP and foreigner terrorists would leave the area and the poor will face the music," Saleem said.

Some critics believe that the recent surge in drone strikes could make Islamabad put aside the idea of going against the terrorists in North Waziristan.




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