Pakistan on Thursday claimed that the drone attack at the Kurram agency targeted an Afghan refugee camp in the tribal area after a US statement said the drone strike hit the militant hiding place.
The drone attack that took place on Wednesday within the Pakistani territory killed two people. The US embassy said in a statement today that Pakistan’s claim that the drone strike hit a refugee camp was “wrong.”
The Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the “unilateral action” on Wednesday and said she had targeted an Afghan refugee camp but had not mentioned any victims.
“The statement in a (Foreign Ministry) yesterday that the US armed forces met an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is wrong,” said a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad.
Local officials have told the AFP that the dawn strike took place more than 50 kilometers from the Afghan border in the village of Mamuzai in Kurram district, in the semi-autonomous tribal area of Pakistan.
The FO spokesman said there are two refugee camps in the area and that the drone hit one of them.
“Pakistan yesterday condemned the Kurram Agency drone attack conducted by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) targeting an Afghan refugee camp,” the spokesman said.
“Pakistan has also stressed the need for early repatriation of Afghan refugees, as their presence in Pakistan helps Afghan terrorists to melt and multiply among them.”
Nearly 1.4 million Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan according to UNHCR data. According to unofficial estimates, another 700,000 undocumented refugees may be in the country.
After Washington froze nearly $ 2 billion in aid this month, Islamabad has set January 31st as the deadline for all refugees returning to Afghanistan. Such deadlines have been repeatedly extended in the past.
After freezing, the Pakistani military said the US Central Command had assured them that Washington was planning “no unilateral action” in Pakistan.
The freeze has cooled relations between alleged allies and sparked outrage in Pakistan stating that the US does not recognize the thousands of lives it has lost and the billions it has spent in the fight against extremism.