General

Drone strike targetted individual ‘morphed’ with Afghan refugees: DG ISPR

Pakistan Army Spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said on Thursday that the January 24 drone strike near the tribal areas targetted an individual who had mixed with Afghan refugees.
In a tweet, the director general of the Inter Services Public Relations stated that the strike in Spintal, Hangu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was not on any organised terrorists’ sanctuary — which have been eliminated. 
“Out of total 54 Afghan Refugees Camps / complexes in Pakistan, 43 are in KP with overlap in FATA,” said a press release shared by ISPR. 
It said that the incident validates Pakistan’s stance that the remaining terrorists easily morph into Afghan refugees’ camps/complexes. 
“Thus their early and dignified return to Afghanistan is essential. Pakistan’s brotherly hospitality to peaceful Afghan Refugees must not be exploited by the terrorists,” the press release stated. 
Earlier today, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that Pakistan sticks to its stance that the recent US drone strike targeted an Afghan refugee camp near Kurram Agency.
He was likely responding to a statement by the US Embassy earlier in the day which denied Pakistan’s claim that the drone strike struck an Afghan refugee camp.
According to the embassy’s spokesperson, “The claim in an MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] statement yesterday that US forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is false.”
Pakistan had on Wednesday condemned the drone strike conducted by coalition forces near Kurram Agency and called the unilateral action detrimental to the spirit of cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism.
The Foreign Ministry had stated that the strike had targeted an Afghan refugee camp.
According to political administration sources in the area, two people including a commander of the Haqqani Network were killed in the drone strike close to the Orakzai and Kurram Agency border.