March 31, 2011
Families of those Pakistani tribesmen who were killed and injured in March in U.S. drone strike Thursday refused to accept the government’s compensation and demanded halt to the American drone strikes in the region, Xinhua reported.
The government had announced 300,000 rupees (about 3,530 US dollars) each for those killed and 100,000 rupees for the injured.
Over 40 tribesmen were killed and many others injured in a drone strike on a jirga of council of tribal elders in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan on March 17. According to the local reports, the jirga was called to settle a dispute over the sale of mineral in the area when the deadly strike was launched.
The Pakistan army chief in rare reaction had strongly condemned the U.S. drone strike on the innocent tribesmen following the March 17th incident. In a harsh statement General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani said that “such aggression against people of Pakistan is unjustified and intolerable under any circumstances”.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry had also summoned the U.S. ambassador for a formal protest and Prime Minister Gilani also criticized the strike in a statement.
A day after the strike, tribal elders at a press conference in the northwestern city Peshawar had vowed revenge. Thousands had staged demonstration in Miranshah against the strike.
The local administrator in North Waziristan, on behalf of the central government, had announced compensation for the families of victims and also for the injured. This is the first ever compensation announced for the families affected by U.S. drone strikes.
Three relatives of the drone strike victims, namely Sherza Ali, Sher Dad Khan and Mir Akbar, told a news conference in Miranshah, center of North Waziristan, on Thursday that they will not accept the compensation.
“We will not accept the money. We ask the Pakistani rulers to stop strikes by American spy aircraft in future,” the tribesmen told the press conference.
They also angrily reacted to checking by the security personnel at 13 points on the main road between Miranshah and Mir Ali, another main town in the region. They said that the tribesmen are searched by the Frontier Constabulary, local militia and the army men at three points, causing difficulties for them. They said the search is against tribal traditions. They suggested that search be carried out at one checkpoint.