Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released an official statement that “strongly condemns” today’s drone strike that killed three Haqqani Network leaders, including a top commander who is said to be a senior financier and aide to operational leader Sirajuddin Haqqani. The full statement is reproduced below:
The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns the US drone strike that took place in Tal area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district at 0445 hrs on 21 November 2013. These strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is an across the board consensus in Pakistan that these drone strikes must end.
The Government of Pakistan has been raising its concern over the drone strikes with the U.S. Administration and at the United Nations. The Prime Minister during his recent visit to the US had raised the issue with President Obama and other senior US leaders.
It has been consistently maintained that drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications. Such strikes also set dangerous precedents in the inter-state relations.
These drone strikes have a negative impact on the Government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and the region.
Pakistan’s official denouncements of drone strikes are becoming routine. The government also publicly criticized the drone strike that killed Hakeemullah, who as the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan was responsible for the killing of thousands of Pakistanis.
Other strikes officially condemned by Pakistan include:
- The strike on Sept. 30 that killed three “rebels” in Datta Khel, an area known to have hosted al Qaeda’s military command.
- The strike on Sept. 6 that killed Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a top Haqqani Network leader, as well as three al Qaeda military commanders.
- The strike on July 28 that killed Abu Rashid, Muhammed Ilyas Kuwaiti, and Muhammed Sajid Yamani, three al Qaeda military trainers.
- The June 7 strike that killed a key Pakistani Taliban commander who was known as Mutaqi and Bahadar Khan.
Given that the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, al Qaeda, and even the Haqqani Network are responsible for killing and maiming thousands of Pakistanis, you’d think the Pakistani government would be grateful for strikes that kill top leaders, or, at the least, would withhold public criticism. But you’d be wrong.
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