Pakistan air force chief gives shoot at sight orders for all foreign drones. Including those of US

The US has been actively operating drones in the tribal regions of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border since 2004. Pakistan sees it as a violation of its territorial integrity.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Dec 08, 2017, 11:12 AM IST
PlayPakistan air force chief gives shoot at sight orders for all foreign drones. Including those of US
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Pakistan's Air Chief has reportedly instructed forces to shoot down any drones which are found to be intruding the country's air space.

In what is being seen as a message primarily directed towards the US which uses drones on the Afghnistan-Pakistan border, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said on Thursday that his forces would target any drone which enters Pakistani air-space. "We will not allow anyone to violate our airspace. I have ordered PAF to shoot down drones, including those of the US, if they enter our airspace, violating the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he was quoted as saying by Pakistani news agencies.

The US has been actively operating drones in the tribal regions of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border since 2004. These have been used in civilian areas as well, where the US feels terrorists may have taken shelter. Pakistan has, on several occasions, protested entry of drones into its own airspace but has also reportedly given a quiet consent on other occasions.

The most-recent orders of shooting down the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) comes after US drones killed three terrorists on the border with Afghanistan. It also comes in the backdrop of frosty ties with the US and growing proximity to China. The country's foreign minister earlier this week had said that Pakistan is looking at forging even closer ties with China instead of depending much on US - its ally for several years.