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Pakistan lodges formal complaint over N Waziristan drone attack

Islamabad, Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

Islamabad, May 1 (ANI): Pakistan has summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to lodge a formal protest over the recent drone attack in North Waziristan Agency, igniting fresh tensions between the two countries.

"U.S. Political Councilor, Jonathan Pratt was summoned to the Foreign Office by Director General (America) over the drone attack," said an official statement.

A similar protest was also lodged in Washington to convey Islamabad's displeasure over the unilateral strikes.

The latest strike took place in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan. The drone fired two missiles targeting an abandoned girls' high school building used by militants, officials said. The strike reportedly killed four militants and injured three others.

The drone attack was the first since the Parliament approved new terms of engagements that sought an immediate halt in the CIA-piloted campaign.

At a joint news conference with US Special Envoy Marc Grossman last week, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani reiterated Pakistan's strong opposition to the CIA-piloted drone campaign in the tribal areas.

"We consider drones as illegal, non-productive and accordingly unacceptable," The Express Tribune quoted him, as saying.

Separately, President Asif Ali Zardari told the visiting top American diplomat that the two sides should consider setting up a framework of mechanism to find mutually acceptable alternatives to drone strikes in Pakistan.

The Obama administration, however, considers drone strikes crucial to eliminate 'high value' targets associated with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban from the tribal areas. (ANI)

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