Pakistani Ambassador: Govt. Never Okayed US Drone Strikes

Reopening the Border Not an Endorsement of Drones

by Jason Ditz, July 10, 2012

Speaking today in an interview with CNN, Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman warned that the Pakistani government had not endorsed the ongoing US drone strikes against their tribal areas.

“The concerns over drones can’t just be brushed aside,” Rehman warned, saying that allowing the border to Afghanistan to reopen did not amount to an endorsement of the drone program and that they continue to oppose the policy.

Reopening the border has been hugely unpopular in Pakistan, as parliament had conditioned the move on the end of the drone campaign. Pakistan’s government eventually reopened the border in return for an apology for the November US attack that killed 24 soldiers. Thousands of Pakistanis rallied in front of parliament over the past two days to condemn the move.

The US has ruled out ending the drone strikes, and launched a major attack shortly after the border crossing reopened last week, killing 21 people in North Waziristan Agency. Of the thousands killed in drone strikes since President Obama took office only a small portion have ever been named and most remain unidentified “suspects.”

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