London: Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif has stated that the US drone campaign is no solution to the menace of terrorism plaguing the Asian country.
Nawaz said that the PML-N had opposed drone attacks from the very start and had taken up this issue in every meeting with American officials over the past three years.
He maintained that drone attacks were not the solution to terrorism, and that there was no justification for the continuation of this campaign.
The former prime minister said that a clear consensus existed amongst the Pakistani people against these attacks, and added that these strikes were a legacy of former military ruler Musharraf’s misrule, which Nawaz said had undermined Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity as well as killed innocent citizens.
“This situation is not acceptable to any Pakistani,” The Nation quoted Nawaz, as saying.
Speaking to a delegation of UK members of the PML-N, the party chief said that the loss of even one Pakistani life was unbearable to him, and that the random killings of citizens through drone attacks had become a major cause of anguish for the people.
The United States does not confirm the drone attacks, but its military and the CIA operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the unmanned aircraft in the region.
As many as 2,043 people, mostly civilians, were killed in US drone attacks in northwestern parts of Pakistan during the last five years, according to the yearly report of Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC).
In 2010, the campaign doubled its missile attacks in the Tribal Areas, with 134 drone strikes inflicting 929 causalities in Pakistan’s FATA region alone, the report said.
Pakistan officially protests the strikes as violations of its sovereignty, but its security agencies are believed to secretly cooperate with the programme.