Dawn News

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Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan. – File Photo by Reuters

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, strongly condemning United States drone strike in North Waziristan which killed 24 people, said on Saturday latest drone attack speaks volumes about so-called close working partnership between Pakistan and the US in ongoing war.

The PTI chief said rulers reopened Nato supply routes against strong sentiments of people and bypassed parliamentary resolutions to appease the US which reciprocated by continuous drone strikes, last of which killed 24 people on Friday.

He said continuing drone assaults were in clear violation of international humanitarian laws. There is complete media censorship in tribal areas and resultantly no way to ascertain identities of those killed in these strikes.

Khan demanded that government should disclose identification details of causalities so that “we know how many women children and ordinary civilians have been killed.”

He asked will any other nation allow indiscriminate killing of its citizens? The fact that their identities are not disclosed casts serious doubts on claims that those killed in strikes were militants, he added.

Khan said the government is equally responsible in indiscriminate elimination of its citizens as it has consciously avoided disclosing identification details of those killed in American drone strikes.

“Our rulers are blindly supporting US claims of high precision drone strikes and minimum collateral damage when they are actually aware of details of civilian casualties in tribal areas,” he added.

Rejecting the claims that these strikes are primarily carried out against foreign militants, he said statistics from independent organisations suggest that both US and Pakistan government are grossly under reporting civilian casualties. Accounts of local, western journalists suggest large number of civilians killed in these strikes.

The PTI chief said the government avoided commenting on stopping unilateral drone strikes that was one of most critical parliamentary preconditions before reopening Nato supply routes.


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