Pakistan summons US envoy, protests drone attacks (Lead)

November 20th, 2008 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Nov 20 (IANS) Pakistan Thursday summoned the US ambassador to Islamabad to protest the American drone attacks in the troubled parts of the country and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said the government has warned the US against such attacks.US Ambassador W. N. Patterson “has been told that these attacks can harm relationship between both the countries”, spokesman for the Foreign Office told media persons here.

The protest comes a day after five people were killed and seven injured in the US drone attack in Bannu, a city in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), despite several warnings by Pakistani leadership.

Wednesday’s was the first attack in settled areas while all previous attacks in which more than a hundred people have died were in tribal areas adjoining war-torn Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Gilani speaking in the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament, or National Assembly, said the government at every forum condemned the US raids inside Pakistan and “we have warned (the US) to put halt to such attacks”.

“We hope that these attacks will end after the new administration takes over (in the US). These are mainly because of the transition period in the United States,” the prime minister told the house.

He said almost the entire international community has condemned these attacks and has sympathized with Pakistan.

Gilani said there was no understanding with the US over drones’ attacks in tribal areas along the Afghan border.

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