Pak denies JuD claim of being privy to secret deal with US regarding drone strikes

Lahore, Nov. 29 (ANI): Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a reply to the Lahore High Court (LHC), has said it was not privy to any agreement with the US government for carrying out drone attacks on Pakistani soil.

The reply was submitted in connection with a petition filed by Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed against US drone attacks on Pakistani soil, reports The Express Tribune.

In a written reply submitted before Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, the ministry said that even though the main focus of the US drone attacks was to target terrorists in federally administered tribal area of Pakistan, these strikes were in violation of the country's sovereignty.

The ministry said the government had consistently lodged protests with the US government regarding collateral damage and the violation of sovereignty committed by these attacks.

It said the parliament had also been denouncing these attacks, which had been conveyed to the US government. Senior officials of the US Embassy, including the ambassador, have been summoned to the foreign office to launch the protests, the reply added.

The ministry further said that the US started to opt for drone attacks in the tribal areas since 2008. However, it said, the frequency of the attacks increased to 37 strikes in 2009 and 115 in 2010. It added that so far this year more than 200 drone strikes had taken place.

It said the government of Pakistan would continue to underscore with the US about the futility of the attacks, which were enhancing anti-American sentiment among the public and affecting bilateral relations. (ANI)