US drone strike on refugee camp augment Pakistan stance that militants hiding among Afghan refugees
PARACHINAR, Pakistan — Two missiles fired from a U.S. drone struck a home near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, killing two militants from the Haqqani network, officials in Islamabad said Wednesday.
Local police chief Ameer Zaman Khan said the strike took place in Dapa Mamuzai village near Pakistan’s Kurram tribal region.
Two intelligence officials identified the slain militants as commander Ahsanullah and Nasir Mehsud. They said the men were from the Haqqani network of the Afghan Taliban. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Pakistan considers U.S. drone strikes a violation of its sovereignty, while the U.S. accuses Pakistan of providing safe havens for militants, a charge Pakistan denied saying it acts against militants without discrimination.
“Pakistan has continued to emphasize to the United States the importance of sharing actionable intelligence so that appropriate action is taken against terrorists by our forces within our territory,” a statement from the Foreign Affairs said.
The ministry condemned the strike, saying it targeted an Afghan refugee camp and reiterated demands for early repatriation of Afghan refugees.
“Their presence in Pakistan helps Afghan terrorists melt and morph among them,” it said.
Pakistani-U.S. relations have been on a downward spiral since the 2011 U.S. operation that killed al-Qaida’s chief Osama bin Laden in his hideout in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad.
Earlier in January, President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of providing a safe haven for terrorists, saying that the U.S. had “foolishly” given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had gotten nothing in return but “lies & deceit.”
Washington later confirmed it will withhold $255 million in U.S. military aid to Pakistan this year.