Islamabad: Pakistan Friday dismissed reports that it accords tacit consent to US drone strikes in its restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, saying that such attacks are illegal and a contravention of international law.
Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam categorically rejected the "insinuation" made in a report by The Wall Street Journal that the US government has Pakistan's "tacit consent" to carry out drone strikes.
Khan reaffirmed Pakistan's long-standing position on the missile strikes by the CIA-operated spy planes, saying: "Drone attacks are illegal, counter-productive, in contravention of international law and a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. There can be no question of Pakistan's agreement to such attacks."
The Wall Street Journal had reported that the CIA sends a fax to a General in Pakistan's intelligence service once a month, outlining broad areas where the US intends to conduct drone strikes.
The report quoted unnamed US officials as saying that Pakistanis do not respond to the faxes but clear airspace in the targeted areas.
On this basis, the US government "concludes it has tacit consent to conduct strikes within the borders of a sovereign nation," the report said.
Pakistani leaders have been publicly opposing the drone strikes since relations with the US fell to an all-time low following the unilateral American military raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad in May last year.
First Published: Friday, September 28, 2012, 14:35