Islamabad | Pakistan today said the accidental killing of two western hostages in a US drone strike on an al-Qaeda compound shows the risk and unintended consequences of the use of the CIA-operated spy planes in the tribal region along the Afghan border.
US President Barack Obama yesterday admitted that the hostages were killed in the strike in January along with American national Ahmed Farouq, an al-Qaeda leader. Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said in a statement that the news of the accidental killing of two western hostages – Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto – in the US drone strike conducted in January this year has been received in Pakistan with shock and sorrow.
She said the deaths demonstrate the risk and unintended consequences of the use of drones that Pakistan has been highlighting for a long time, while claiming that Pakistan had also lost thousands of innocent civilians in the war on terror. American consultant Weinstein was kidnapped from Lahore in 2011 while working with USAID, while Italian aid worker Lo Porto was picked up by militants in 2012 in Multan.
Lo Porto had joined his aid group in October 2011 and was working as a project manager when he was kidnapped with German national Bernd Muehlenbeck, who was freed last year. The deaths have again brought the CIA’s controversial drone programme under the scanner after being criticised over alleged killing of civilians in strikes.
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