Pakistan has rejected an American media report that the U.S. drone hits were taking place with the "tacit consent" of the Pakistan government, a Foreign Ministry statement said on Friday.
According to the Wall Street Journal report, the intended target areas are "outlined" to the Pakistani intelligence service which then gives an unspoken consent to the U.S. forces to conduct these strikes within its borders by clearing the airspace and does not "interfere physically with the unpiloted aircraft in flight."
The report also claimed that Pakistan clears airspace of a certain area where a drone attack is planned, in correspondence with the faxes its intelligence service receives once a month from the American CIA.
Responding to the report, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson categorically rejected the insinuation made in the report and reiterated Pakistan's long-standing position on drone attacks.
"There can be no question of Pakistan's agreement to such attacks," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
He said that the U.S. drone attacks are illegal, counterproductive, in contravention of international law and a violation of Pakistani sovereignty.
On Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar called the drone strikes inside Pakistani territory "illegal, unlawful and counterproductive", saying they were among the reasons for the rise of anti-Americanism in Pakistan.
"Drones are a reason why the United States is unpopular in Pakistan," she said in response to a question at Asia Society in New York where she spoke to a packed-to-capacity audience on the foreign policy goals of the democratic government.
She insisted that the use of unilateral strikes on Pakistani territory is illegal. "It is illegal and it is unlawful." the foreign minister said, according to text of her speech released by the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad. She added Pakistan's government needs to build popular support for its own efforts to crush armed militant groups, but this is impossible as long as the war is viewed as U.S. interference.