Rawalpindi (Staff Report): The January 24 drone strike near the tribal areas targetted an individual who had mixed with Afghan refugees, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Thursday.
“The drone strike on January 24 in Spintal, Hangu district was on individual target who had morphed into Afghan refugees and not any organized terrorists sanctuary which have been eliminated,” Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.
Drone strike on 24 Jan was on individual target morphed into Afghan Refugees and not any organised terrorists sanctuary which have been eliminated. Validates Pak’s stance that early and dignified return of Afghan Refugees to Afghanistan is essential. pic.twitter.com/SQ5SFuYKtr— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) January 25, 2018
Earlier, US Embassy Spokesperson Rick Sinelsine in Pakistan on Thursday rejected Pakistan's claim that the United States forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency on Wednesday.
The spokesperson, however, did not confirm or deny whether the US army had carried out a drone attack in the region.
In response to the US denial, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal today reiterated Pakistan’s stance US drone strike hit the refugee camp.
On Wednesday, Pakistan had condemned a US drone strike deep inside its territory, saying: “Pakistan condemns a drone strike in Kurram Agency carried out by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) this [Wednesday] morning, which targeted an Afghan refugee camp."
Islamabad had also warned Washington that such ‘unilateral’ steps would be detrimental to cooperation between the two countries in fight against terrorism.
This was the first US drone strike inside Pakistani territory over the past 19 months, the FO had confirmed, as none of the over one dozen attacks by the unmanned vehicle reported in the media during this period had drawn official condemnation from Pakistan’s FO.