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Senators sought details of drone strikes carried inside Pakistani territory

27 October, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence on Thursday sought details of the drone strikes carried so far by the US led NATO forces inside Pakistani territory, causing injury and deaths to innocent civilians.

The committee decided that a unanimous motion would be moved in the Senate to call upon the government to demand compensation from NATO on the losses inflicted by the drone strikes to innocent civilians.

The committee was presided over by Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS).

Mushahid Hussain observed that drone strikes were violation of the international laws and the committee would make all out efforts to provide relief to the innocent civilians. The committee thanked Senator Javed Abbasi for raising the issue.

The committee also adopted a unanimous resolution to express solidarity with people of Indian occupied Kashmir struggling for their right of self-determination and independence from the Indian occupied forces. The resolution condemned the barbaric approach adopted by the Indian Occupied Forces to suppress the indigenous movement for their rights.

The resolution was moved by Senator Sehar Kamran, which was unanimously adopted by the committee.

Earlier, the committee was given a detailed briefing by Secretary Defence Lt Gen (r) Zamirul Hassan on the situation along Pakistan-Afghanistan border and Pakistan-India borders.

He said that Pakistan shared 2,611 km long border with Afghanistan that had 975 border posts on the Pakistan side.

“Afghanistan has constructed 218 posts, but these posts are not enough to check the cross border infiltration into Pakistani territory. A total of 307 attacks have so far been carried this year by the militants penetrating into Pakistan’s area,” the secretary defence said.

He said that 76 rounds were unofficial while 16 rounds were notified crossings.

Briefing the committee on the construction of security fence, he said that out of the 2,057 km fenceable area, 43 km had been fenced. A project of Rs 56 billion has been conceived which would be completed in two years.

He stated that nearly 45% territory of Afghanistan was still an ungoverned space and militants infiltrated into Pakistani side for targeting civilians and the armed forces. To a question, the defence secretary said that Afghan president said that COAS in Kabul had expressed the desire that Pakistan should assist Afghanistan in reconciliation process.

Regarding the Pakistan-Indian border, the defence secretary said that India was involved in targeting civilian population close to the LoC and Working Boundary and even targeted the UN military observer teams.

He said that India was involved in violation of human rights and international laws by using brutal force against the innocent civilians in IHK. “In 2017, 1,299 violations of the ceasefire were committed by India. The recent drone strikes were not inside Pakistan’s territory,” he said.

He denied any confirmation of the death of Khalid Khurasani, leader of banned outfit, in the strikes. However, he said that Khalid Naray had been killed in the strike.

The committee was also given a detailed briefing on the compliance status of the decisions and directors of the committee.

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