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The FO and government have previously raised concern over drone strikes with the US administration and at the United Nations.—File Photo
The FO and government have previously raised concern over drone strikes with the US administration and at the United Nations.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Two hours after her official briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam confirmed and condemned two pre-dawn US drone strikes that struck militant hideouts in North Waziristan in the past 24 hours.

“The government of Pakistan condemns the two incidents of US drone strikes that took place near Miramshah in North Waziristan on 11 and 12 June,” said a statement from the foreign office.

“These strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and additionally, these strikes have a negative impact on the government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region,” it said.

Earlier during her briefing, Alsam had said that facts were being ascertained and added that Pakistan’s position on drones is very clear.

Meanwhile, foreign news agency Reuters reported that two top government officials said Islamabad had given the Americans “express approval” for the strikes – the first time Pakistan has admitted to such cooperation.

Without naming the officials, the news agency reported that just weeks after peace talks with the militants stalled, a “joint Pakistan-US operation” had been ordered to hit the insurgents.

Another official told Reuters that Pakistan had asked the United States for help after the Karachi airport attack on Sunday, and would be intensifying air strikes on militant hideouts in coming days.

“The attacks were launched with the express approval of the Pakistan government and army,” an anonymous government official was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“It is now policy that the Americans will not use drones without permission from the security establishment here. There will be complete coordination and Pakistan will be in the loop.”

“We understand that drones will be an important part of our fight against the Taliban now,” the official added.

The American drone program is extremely unpopular in Pakistan because it is perceived as killing innocent civilians, which the US denies. In the past, the Pakistani government has strongly condemned drone strikes – maintaining a stance that strikes violate the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The FO and government have previously raised concern over drone strikes with the US administration and at the United Nations, saying the attacks are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications.

Two successive US drone strikes killed at least 16 suspected militants in Pakistan's northwest tribal area early Thursday, as pressure was building on Islamabad to react after the brazen attack on Karachi airport.

The first strike late Wednesday was said to have targeted a vehicle and a compound near the Afghan border in Tabbi village, killing four Uzbek militants.

Sources told DawnNews that the second strike in Dand-i Darpakhel area reported early Thursday killed key Haqqani network commander Haji Gul as well as prominent Afghan Taliban commanders.

These were the year’s first such strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

The last US drone attack on Pakistani soil was carried out on December 25, 2013, killing three suspected militants. The strikes had been temporarily halted at the government's request.

Use of foreign weapons in Karachi airport attack being investigated

Responding to a question, the foreign office spokesman said the attack on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi and the use of foreign-made weapons was being probed, and that Pakistan does not have "a habit of leveling allegations without investigation or evidence".

She said a comprehensive probe into the incident had been launched to determine the facts.

Afghan elections

Responding to a question, Aslam said Pakistan supported a peaceful and democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan.

About the second phase of the Afghan Presidential elections on 14 June 2014, she said these elections are a milestone in the democratic journey of the Afghan people and that Pakistan congratulates the government and people of Afghanistan on this achievement.

“We reiterate that these elections are an Afghan affair, with the Afghan electoral institutions in the lead. They bear a heavy responsibility, and we wish them well in accomplishing their task successfully. We also hope that the voters would once again demonstrate their firm resolve and exercise their right to determine their future through democratic means, in an optimal way,” she told reporters.

She said Pakistan remains committed to supporting efforts for a free and peaceful electoral process. “On the eve of the first round on 5 April 2014, Pakistan had taken special steps to beef up security along the border and our authorities are taking additional measures for the second round of elections, including by retaining additional troops for this purpose,” she said.

“The measures include enhanced vigilance and security along the border, enhanced patrolling in close border/border crossing areas, enhanced checking by immigration staff, enhanced communication through existing coordination and cooperation mechanism, and availability of hotline contact with Afghan counterparts,” she added.

“As a close neighbor and fraternal nation, Pakistan stands committed to supporting the Afghan people in every possible way in their quest for peace and progress,” she added.

Comments (65) Closed

Harmony Jun 12, 2014 01:45pm

Publically they always say this...nothing new.

Mateen Jun 12, 2014 02:39pm

We should evaculate the entire civilian pop from FATA

Mateen Jun 12, 2014 02:40pm

We should evacuate the entire civilian population from FATA and let the U.S. airforce raise the region flat to the ground. No more extremists, no more foreign militants.

Mohammad Akhtar Jun 12, 2014 03:00pm

People are for the drones, welcome and wipe these killers out.

ajeet Jun 12, 2014 04:08pm

Pakistan is a country only in name. It consists of areas that are not governed by anyone.

Sheraz Jun 12, 2014 04:19pm

@Mateen Women and Children taken out from the area and straight away nuke these people.

Saleem Ansari Jun 12, 2014 04:19pm

@Mateen AGREED 100%

sheryar Jun 12, 2014 04:26pm

The Pakistani Citizens are grateful for these drone attacks.

While the incompetent government cannot handle terrorists at least the americans are doing something

Thank You!

Ahmed Jun 12, 2014 04:38pm

Is the foreign office working for the taliban or for Pakistan?

Abaid Jun 12, 2014 04:52pm

Well US drones are still the most effective way to eliminate terriosts.If we look at the past 5-7 years its only drone that worked except the swat operation.

Waleed Ikram Jun 12, 2014 04:53pm

@Ajeet Did you forget the tribal areas in India where recently Congress leaders were gunned down like chickens. No one dares to go there even your military.

Ijaz Jun 12, 2014 04:55pm

If the Government really condemns drones it can always order them to be shot down!

The fact is there have been no strikes for 6 months to enable so called peace talks to take place. In that space of time hundreds of people have been killed, the terrorists have regrouped and given the current rate of progress and dynastic nature of Pakistani politics it will be Maryam Nawaz who will conclude the talks.

Clearly the Americans cannot wait for the Government to stop dithering - they are doing what they always do best: defending American interests and protecting their citizens from terrorist activity emanating from Pakistan. It is high time Nawaz Shariff adopted the same policy.

Muhammad Jun 12, 2014 04:58pm

Hopeless government and its double game. We are not going to win the war against extremists until we clearly and honestly outline our policy.

gary Jun 12, 2014 05:01pm

@Mateen That will be a sensible step.

AHA Jun 12, 2014 05:02pm

Does this government condemn the murder of innocent citizens in Karachi by the Taliban.

gary Jun 12, 2014 05:02pm

@Ahmed They are only working for themselves.

Raja Farhat Abbas Jun 12, 2014 05:03pm

@ajeet Just worry about your India mate we will sort our problems out in Pakistan worry about your Naxalite group which controls an area in India much bigger then Pakistan and this is only one group among the six or 7 other freedom movements in Hindustan.

AHA Jun 12, 2014 05:03pm

@Mateen "No more extremists"

But then who will raise the Pakistan flag in New Delhi?

Seedoo Jun 12, 2014 05:05pm

Looks like our leaders have not learned any lesson. They are worried about the so called "territorial integrity" when in fact they have "NO" control over these areas. They should be thanking the US for carrying out the dirty work that Pakistani leaders refuse to even acknowledge.

Riza Afghan Jun 12, 2014 05:08pm

Another blah blah blah from Pakistan government. If you can't control terrorists, at least let Afghanistan and the U.S control them for you.

It seems Pakistan is training them and they are attacking Pakistan also and Pakistan is not allowing anyone to kill them either.

Pakistan became a mess, have no idea what they are doing... Look at what happen to Karachi airport. Not a single foreigner is coming to Pakistan now and still you are protecting terrorists from drones?

Pakistan should beg USA to keep bombing these terrorists for at least 5-6 years until they completely disappear!!!

Irfan baloch Jun 12, 2014 05:19pm

thanks to American drones some serial butchers were killed eventually after our Ch Iftikhar's infested courts released them repeatedly

Jamal syed Jun 12, 2014 05:19pm

Stop pacifying IK and JI. Drones are an effective weapon against these animals. Kill them in their lair before they come out and attack us.

sharabi Jun 12, 2014 05:24pm

@Mateen Their siblings are also available in POK, will you please say for "INDIAN AIR FORCE" or wait for next 5-6 years when they will turn towards you? Or you cry only when you hurt not the neighbors? Or it does not affect you because till now we were suffering. Choice is yours after-all Pakistan is yours.

Sid Jun 12, 2014 05:24pm

for heavens sake.. STFU! condemn... ya right!!

Bilal Jun 12, 2014 05:24pm

hahaha, what a joke, Pak condems drone attacks

Sunil Jun 12, 2014 05:25pm

When ever there are US drone strikes, FO only condemns. Sounds hollow and ineffective.

Makael Jun 12, 2014 05:29pm

@Mateen - Aren't you a genius in solving the worlds problems. After we bomb FATA flat, we should be bombing Karachi flat because most of the money funneled to Taliban comes from the City. The next in line should be Baluchistan because of the insurgency there. Not to mention Southern Punjab because there is a strong presence of Taliban in that area too.

While we are at it, we should bomb Islamabad because most of the people who bankrupted the country reside there. Oh!! we should also annihilate Lahore just because we can.

May be we should treat the root cause instead of the symptoms for a change. How is that idea for a change?

Ulloo Jun 12, 2014 05:38pm

I fully support drone attack. Civilian population know these extremist and they should stay away from these Talibans. No better way to wipe Pakistan from Taliban than drone attacks. Pak forces should do the same....

RealityCheck Jun 12, 2014 05:39pm

How come when Pakistani jets pound these areas,does not kill innocent people and violates human rights.Why suddenly drones strikes, which are more accurate and has less collateral damage-become an issue.

paki Jun 12, 2014 05:45pm

@Mateen Do you think those terrorists are falling from heaven?

gerry d'cunha Jun 12, 2014 05:50pm

secret deal with USA is already intack for drone attack - publically FO always denies - diplomatic tactics of govt

gerry d'cunha Jun 12, 2014 05:50pm

secret deal with USA is already intack for drone attack - publically FO always denies - diplomatic tactics of govt

abbas khan Jun 12, 2014 06:00pm

Why condemn drone attack ma'am. They (US) are carrying your job saving Pakistani money.

unbelievable Jun 12, 2014 06:01pm

"These strikes are a violation of Pakistan

Shamsher Singh Bajwa Jun 12, 2014 06:10pm

Why, because this one targeted the Haqqani network?

Agha Ata Jun 12, 2014 06:20pm

How dare you kill our enemies. Only we have the right to kill them.

ash.kareem Jun 12, 2014 06:21pm

this is sheer hypocrisy.

Haris Jun 12, 2014 06:22pm

Running with the hares and hunting with the hounds.. typical double speak from our FO - nothing new - quite sad actually !

Salim A Jun 12, 2014 06:27pm

Stop this charade. That is why Pakistan's leaders have no credibility. Who believes this nonsense about condemning the drone attack. It was probably done at the request and with the aid of Pakistan. Stop lying to your country and go get rid of those terrorists without posturing.

Notsurprised Jun 12, 2014 06:38pm

Why not just shoot the drones down? We know that is not going to happen as either Pakistan government is complicit or spineless or both. The government is a reflection of the people who voted them in.

Get them all Jun 12, 2014 06:50pm

Obviously the foreign office and Pakistan Military are not on the same page. Two top Pakistan military spokesman said earlier today that Pakistan gave the US military the "express approval" yesterday to strike all the hideouts. People in the foreign office need to check with military officials before flat out lying to everyone. Maybe the Pakistani foreign office need to be hit with drone strikes too.

Roxana R Jun 12, 2014 06:51pm

What a lie. There is no doubt that Pakistan is working with the USA in planning and executing the recent drone attacks. Stop lying to your people.

Frantic Jun 12, 2014 06:53pm

They are shameless! Hypocrisy at its best.

Vijai Murugan Jun 12, 2014 07:08pm

This looks like a comedy movie. The government asks America to attack the "Jihadis" on one hand and then condemn the US forces on the other. Week knees

aisha Jun 12, 2014 07:26pm

CLearly this is happening as a retaliation to the airport attacks, and with the approval and request of the government. Question is why are they denying it in public, when infact the nation seems to be siding with the drones now..

David Kane Jun 12, 2014 07:33pm

Seems to me as the Pakistani government requested a reprisal attack againts the Taliban but to cover their rear-end publically condemn the US. Give credit to the Saudis when we do their dirty work at least they don't condemn the US in public.

abdulaziz Jun 12, 2014 07:35pm

Imran Khan will condemn this attack on Taliban.

Ahmer Jun 12, 2014 07:43pm

What hypocrisy!!! Will anyone believe it?

Aurang Jun 12, 2014 07:50pm

Double Game!! you can only fool yourself now.

Aman Jun 12, 2014 08:47pm

@Waleed Ikram They have paramilitary there...and probably citizens of India didn't mind congress leaders finally achieving their fate... they deserved that

Asif Jun 12, 2014 09:00pm

Here we go again, wink, wink, nod, nod, condemn, condemn, request, request.

Modi Jun 12, 2014 09:28pm

It is shameful for the Foreign Office to talk about sovereignty , when some attackers at the recent Karachi airport were reportedly of Uzbek nationality. Pakistan is brimming with illegal immigrants and Talibans from Afghanistan, Arab countries, Chechnya, Uzbekistan etc etc. So where is the sovereignty. At present Pakistan can hardly call itself a sovereign nation !

pathanoo Jun 12, 2014 09:51pm

Tasneem Aslam, Have you consulted the Government and the Military who provided the location and information on these terrorists killed in the last two Drone strikes? Or, are you simply unconnected?

mohsin Jun 12, 2014 10:41pm

I think talks are the only way out , military solution is expensive and will us no where, imran khan should be made as the chief negotitator as he enjoys good realtions with militant groups.

lakhani Jun 12, 2014 10:54pm

@Agha Ata only u have right to save them,ask to nawaz if i am wrong

Satya Ram Jun 12, 2014 11:16pm

Why Pak Govt pretending otherwise? Drone strike is approved by Pak Govt and military.

Ahmer Jun 12, 2014 11:25pm

Condemn the drone strikes in public and thank USA for them in private. What hypocrites are our rulers!!!

Sultan Rahi Jun 12, 2014 11:35pm

What about Indian weapons recovered from the airport siege.

DB Jun 13, 2014 03:20am

According to reuters reports, the Pakistani govt went along with these planned attacks. Some of those killed were Uzbek IMU suspected of being behind the Jinnah attack, 10 Haqqani members, 4 Pakistani TTP members. Also, a building laden with explosives was targeted along with the 2 mazda trucks also laden with explosives and headed to Afghanistan to do god knows what mischief. I'd say the attacks were a win for Afghanistan and Pakistan as some trouble makers were eliminated. Probably a win for Uzbekistan whose govt doesn't want the IMU in their backyard either. The entire "sovereignty" excuse doesn't fly anyway since foreigners are not sovereign to the Pakistani govt, nor do certain tribal regions conform to the writ of the Pakistani govt. North W. maybe in Pakistan, but it is obviously not of Pakistan. It's a little messed up region teeming with foreign trouble makers.

Life Jun 13, 2014 03:36am

People sentiments are to erase the terrorist one for all Its fair in war to take help. Make it official

Whistle Jun 13, 2014 05:19am

@Waleed Ikram Brush up your knowledge mate. Don't comment for the sake of comment.

Whistle Jun 13, 2014 05:20am

@Raja Farhat Abbas Since when ?

Raja Jun 13, 2014 05:21am

Do Not Condemn US drone strikes, let them do the job for you which you are unable to do.

M Jun 13, 2014 05:52am

for all those who want drones to flatten the area, how could you guarantee that those miscreants will not move out of the area along with other people? or hold innocent people at ransom to avoid drone attacks?

El Cid Jun 13, 2014 07:49am

"Pakistan condemns US drone strikes in North Waziristan"

Give me a wanted the strikes, US obliged. Your foreign bank accounts went up. Enough said.