Drone strikes: Pakistan may boycott Chicago summit

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan may boycott the upcoming Nato summit in Chicago and delay its decision to reopen Nato supply routes in retaliation for the latest US drone attack in North Waziristan Agency, officials said.This was the first such attack since parliament last month approved new guidelines on relations with the United States, which included a call for an end to drone strikes in Pakistani territory.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office denounced the latest strike as “a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty”.

“Such attacks are in total contravention of international law and established norms of interstate relations,” it added. The matter would be taken up through diplomatic channels both in Islamabad and Washington.

A senior government official told The Express Tribune that Pakistan was contemplating a number of options to convey a strong message on drone strikes to the US. One such option includes pulling out of the Chicago summit scheduled for May. It was, however, not clear whether Islamabad was formally invited to the gathering of nearly 50 heads of states and governments.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman did request the Pakistani leadership during his recent trip to attend the summit, said the official. “The latest drone attack clearly is an attempt to discredit democracy in Pakistan,” added the official, who was part of recent negotiations between Islamabad and Washington.

Abandoned school targeted

The latest strike took place in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, on Sunday.The drone fired two missiles targeting an abandoned girls’ high school building used by militants, officials said. The school which is located in Qari Masjid village was abandoned by schoolchildren due militancy in the area.

“The building had been taken over by militants,” a local resident said.  An official from the area confirmed that three people have been killed and two wounded. “However, there are reports that there might be six suspected militants killed,” he added. Another security official said the compound was used mainly by Uzbek and Tajik militants.

(With additional reporting by Zulfiqar Ali in D I Khan and agencies)Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2012.

April 30, 2012 Post Under News update - Read More

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