US drones strikes did not target Pakistani territory, claims Khawaja AsifWorld
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday claimed that the recent US drone attacks targeted militants along the Pak-Afghan border area and did not happen inside Pakistan's territory.
Asif, while talking to DawnNews, said that since the Pak-Afghan "border is not as well-defined as our eastern border", therefore, no one can be certain about which country was attacked.
At least five people were killed on Tuesday in a drone strike near the Kurram Agency, the local political administration had said.
The strike was the third in the day and fourth since the preceding night. Local sources said drones have been hovering in the area since Monday.
The first two drone strikes on Tuesday were reported in Afghanistan's Paktia province, which borders Pakistan's Kurram Agency. No casualties have been reported from those strikes so far.
Asif, while commenting on the matter, touted the PML-N government's success in the fight against terrorism, saying that the decrease in drone attacks, which were a daily occurrence in the country some years back, is a testament that there are no terrorist sanctuaries in the country anymore.
When asked about his statement about Russia's rising influence on the Taliban, Asif said that Pakistan's influence on the Taliban has decreased while that of other countries neighbouring Afghanistan has increased. He, however, did not name any other country.
Commenting on the rescue effort to free the abducted American-Canadian family, Asif said that the foreign nationals were rescued by the army when they entered Pakistani territory.
He wondered why the United States had not taken action earlier when they had intelligence about the kidnappers' location in Afghanistan.
The military’s media wing also claimed that no air violations occurred along the Pak-Afghan border, and that “no drone strike happened in Kurram Agency as [is] being misreported by [a] few”.
Inter-Services Public Relations said that military operations are being conducted by the US's Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in the Khost and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan.
"As a follow-up of the army chief's visit to Afghanistan, the coordination between the forces has enhanced. RSM timely shared details about the said operation within Afghan territory," the ISPR stated.