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10 Jun, 2013

Pakistan summons top U.S. diplomat to lodge “strong protest” over drone strikes


ISLAMABAD, June 8 (Xinhua) — Pakistan on Saturday summoned a top U.S. diplomat and lodged a formal protest over a recent drone strikes which killed at least seven people.

A U.S. spy aircraft fired missiles on a house in North Waziristan tribal region late Friday night, the second US attack in 10 days. Last week a U.S. attack killed six people including the Taliban deputy chief, Wali-ur-Rehman Mehsud, in North Waziristan.

“On the Prime Minister’s instructions, the U.S. Charge d’ Affaires, Ambassador Richard Hoagland was summoned this afternoon to the Foreign Office by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tariq Fatemi to lodge a strong protest on the U.S. drone strike carried out in North Waziristan on June 7, 2013,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“The U.S. official was handed a demarche in this regard,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

It was conveyed to the U.S. diplomat that the government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strikes which are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “The importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes was emphasized”, said the statement.

It was also pointed out that the government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications, the Foreign Ministry said.

The statement also stressed that 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, it added.