Pakistani protesters shout slogans and burn a US flag during a demonstration against the US drone attacks in Pakistani tribal belt. (file photo
Sat Jun 9, 2012 2:5PM GMT
Pakistani protesters have taken to the streets in the northwestern city of Peshawar to condemn the US assassination drone attacks in the country’s tribal areas.
Protesters gathered on Saturday, calling for an end to what they call the US violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and to Washington’s meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
The latest protest comes after the US secretary of defense Leon Panetta’s remarks on Monday showed Washington would continue its drone attacks in Pakistan despite complaints from Islamabad and the people.
Washington claims its drone strikes target militants, though casualty figures clearly indicate that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned attacks.
More than 150 people have died in drone attacks in Pakistan's northwest tribal region since the beginning of this year.
On Tuesday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry summoned the US Charge d'affaires Richard Hoagland over Washington’s continued assassination drone attacks in the country.
Pakistan-US relations experienced particularly serious strains in 2011 after a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis and a US team infiltrated the Pakistani territory under the pretext of killing al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
This was topped by US air strikes in November which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at two army outposts on the Afghan border.
The last incident prompted Islamabad to shut down supply routes to US-led foreign military forces in Afghanistan.