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‘Pakistan mulls downing US drones’

Pakistan Daily Times [1]
Saturday, Dec 06, 2008

LAHORE: Pakistani officials are urging the incoming Obama administration to stop air attacks on Pakistani territory and are even hinting that they might shoot down US drones in its airspace, according to a report published in the Washington Times (WT).

The report said US forces based in Afghanistan had carried out around 25 strikes this year, most of them by drones, in the Pakistani border region. However, a November 19 attack was carried out in Bannu beyond the Tribal Areas, in the settled areas of Pakistan. After the strike on NWFP’s Bannu district, the government summoned US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W Patterson to the Foreign Ministry and lodged a formal protest.

Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said the US ambassador was told that the attacks violated Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Pakistani officials have publicly discussed a military option.

(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)

Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed said last week that if the government decided to shoot down the pilotless aircraft, the military was fully capable of intercepting them.

“The air force is ready for any type of air defence,” the air chief marshal was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

On September 23, a drone crashed inside Pakistani territory near Angoor Ada in South Waziristan Agency.

Full article here [1]