Pakistan notes increase in US drone strikes

Islamabad, April 4 (IANS) Pakistan said Thursday that the US carried out 48 drone attacks in the country’s tribal region in 2012.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in its annual report that the US had conducted 74 drone strikes in 2011.

The report strongly condemned drone attacks and called on the US to stop these attacks.

The CIA-sponsored drone campaign is highly controversial in Pakistan. But Washington has ruled out any change in the policy.

Pakistan publicly condemns the drone attacks for violating the country’s sovereignty and for being counterproductive in its campaign against the militants.

The US said drones target the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants hiding in Pakistan’s tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

The secretary general of the Commission, I.A. Rehman, said 1,577 incidents of terrorism took place in Pakistan last year leaving 2,055 people dead and 3,822 injured.

A total of 121 schools were destroyed by the militants in the tribal regions and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

He said 2,284 people were killed in sectarian violence in the port city of Karachi last year.

According to the report, at least 14 journalists were killed in different areas of the country last year.

The report adds that 83,000 Afghan refugees were repatriated to their motherland last year. However 2.6 million Afghan refugees are still living in Pakistan.

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