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June 6, 2012

FO summons US envoy, lodges protest over drone strikes

Sports

June 6, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Tuesday summoned United States Charge d’Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland and lodged a protest over drone attacks in its northwestern tribal areas, branding continued drone strikes “unlawful”.

In a brief statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Richard Hoagland was “officially conveyed the government’s serious concern regarding drone strikes in Pakistani territory.”

Hoagland was informed that drone strikes were “unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.” “Parliament had emphatically stated that they were unacceptable. Drone strikes represented a clear red-line for Pakistan,” said the statement.

A second and separate demarche was also lodged with Ambassador Hoagland on the seizure of unauthorised weapons in the possession of US diplomats in Peshawar. The US envoy was informed that the carrying of unauthorised weapons by diplomats was unacceptable and contrary to both Pakistani law and accepted norms of diplomatic conduct.

Drone strikes have killed at least 151 people on Pakistani soil since the beginning of the year, and continue to be a major sticking point in talks aimed at improving ties between Washington and Islamabad.