Pakistan Air Force (PAF) chief Sohail Aman said here on Thursday that he has ordered his force to shoot down any drones, including those of the US, if they violate the country’s airspace. The announcement was made public about two weeks after a US drone strike targeted a militant compound in Pakistan’s tribal region near the Afghan border, killing three militants.
Pakistan had always condemned drone strikes on its soil but had never said they would shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). “We will not allow anyone to violate our airspace. I have ordered PAF to shoot down drones, including those of the US, if they enter our airspace, violating the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman told an audience in Islamabad.
If he meant that US missile strikes on militant positions were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, then these violations have been occurring since 2004. The CIA was responsible for all US drone strikes in Pakistan until November 30, 2017. After every drone strike, the Pakistan foreign office issues a condemnatory statement claiming that it will not allow such strikes on its territory.