Pak calls US envoy to protest raid

Islamabad, September 4:

Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador and protested a cross-border raid which killed at least 15 people in a village near Afghanistan, officials said today.

“The US ambassador in Pakistan was summoned to the foreign ministry yesterday and a very strong protest was conveyed to her,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said. “The ambassador said she would convey it to her government.” Pakistan officials said at least 15 people were killed in the raid by Afghan-based international forces yesterday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign minister today condemned the raid by Afghan-based international troops in the village, saying there was “no high value target” and only civilians were targeted.

“Only innocent children and women were targeted,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in an address to parliament.

“Coalition forces will have to review their policy,” Qureshi told lawmakers. “Incidents like this will only fuel hatred among the tribal people,”

the foreign minister said. The Pakistan army has also lodged a protest with the US Office

of the Defence Representative in Pakistan.

A military spokesman said, “We reserve the right of self-defence and retaliation to protect our citizens and soldiers against aggression.” Yesterday, both the US-led coalition and separate NATO-led security force in Afghanistan said they had no knowledge of the incident, which reportedly took place in Pakistan’s South Waziristan. The remote tribal area has become a haven for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, who are accused of attacking troops in Afghanistan.

An official in South Waziristan, Mowaz Khan, said helicopters dropped troops into the border village of Jalal Khel, and that the soldiers shot civilians who had left their homes upon hearing the choppers. He said 15 people, including women and children, were killed in the raid.

Three held for attack on PM’s convoy

Islamabad: Pakistani

police have arrested three people suspected to have been involved in yesterday’s attack on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s motorcade, Geo TV channel reported today.

It quoted Tariq Kohsa, head of the investigation committee, as saying that the third car in the convoy was hit by a long-range rifle. The report is expected to be submitted to the interior ministry soon. Gunmen fired shots at the prime minister’s motorcade in a high security zone on the Islamabad highway. “The prime minister and his staff were not in the car,” secretary to the interior ministry Syed Kamal Shah said. A statement by the Prime Minister’s House said that two shots fired at the prime minister’s vehicle hit the window on the driver’s side. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack. — Xinhua