Question about use of Pakistani airspace in Zawahiri attack, not of soil: Fawad

ISLAMABAD    –    Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said that the ‘question’ was not about Pakistan’s soil used in the US drone attack that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, but its airspace as he demanded a formal statement from the ministries concerned. The former minister was seemingly referring to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Babar Iftikhar’s recent remarks on the matter. The DG ISPR had a day earlier, ruled out the possibility, saying there was no question of Pakistan’s soil being used for “such a purpose”. The DG ISPR further said that the Foreign Office has clarified it in detail. “They are all rumours, as anybody can write anything on social media. We should avoid this. Our enemy, in particular, feeds such information and they (people) get exploited,” he said. In a tweet on Saturday, Chaudhry wrote: “The question is whether Pakistan’s airspace was allowed to be used or not. Repetitive statements on Pakistan’s land not used are unclear,” Chaudhry continued, stressing that relevant ministries would have to issue a formal statement over the matter. In a press conference on Friday, Chaudhry demanded to know whether Pakistan’s air space had been used by the US for a recent drone strike that killed Zawahiri. “The nation wants to know whether we are again going to become a tool of the United States against Al-Qaeda,” he said. The United States carried out a drone strike in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Sunday morning and killed Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who had a 25 million dollar bounty on his head for helping coordinate the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Immediately after it was reported, a number of PTI leaders raised questions about Pakistan’s role in the attack, prompting the ISPR clarification.

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