Despite Pakistan registered its protest against spying drone attacks, an unmanned American aircraft fired missiles on a house in Darre-e-Nishtar, in North Waziristan, the tribal area of Pakistan.

At least ten people were killed and several others injured in the pre-dawn attack while the death toll is also expected to rise, the report added. According to the media reports, the US drone targeted an allegedly militant compound in the Shawal valley.

Rescue officials cited the presence of at least four unmanned aircrafts in the skies overhead, fearing which rescue efforts had been delayed.

The report observed, “The rescuers were facing difficulties to reach the spot as more drones were flying in the area”.

The controversial drone programme, a key element in US counter-terrorism efforts, is highly unpopular in Pakistan where it is considered a violation of sovereignty which causes unacceptable civilian casualties.

Late last month, a drone strike in North Waziristan killed four suspected militants and injured three others while destroying a girls’ school.

But the attack had drawn widespread criticism from Pakistan, which chose to lodge a formal complaint with the US over the attack; the Foreign Office summoned the US Political Councilor in Islamabad and recorded its protest.

Meanwhile, the political lot also criticized the attack, with Senator Raza Rabbani, Chairman Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), declaring that the US had to start respecting Pakistan’s red lines.

The PCNS recently demanded an end to drone strikes on Pakistani territory as part of its recommendations for how its relationship with the US should change.

President Asif Ali Zardari had told the US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman on last Friday that drone attacks inside Pakistan are useless and counterproductive.

Prior to this, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had also told Grossman that the US was not listening to Pakistani demands of halt in US drone attacks.

The United States has given no indication it intends to halt the campaign, and the administration of President Barack Obama has said the use of the remotely piloted aircraft is legal under international law

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