Pakistan Deploys First Home-Made Drones
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Pakistan launched its first domestically produced drones, as police cracked down on demonstrators protesting US drone strikes targeting Islamic militants on Pakistani territory.
The new drones are called the Burraq and Shahpar and will be used by the Pakistani army and air force, the military said in a statement, although they did not specify if the drones will be armed or unarmed.
The statement from the military comes as the police prevented protesters trying to block trucks carrying NATO supplies to and from troops stationed in neighboring Afghanistan.
The protests began on Saturday when the Pakistani cricket star turned politician Imran Khan led thousands of demonstrators to block a road used to ship goods to and from Afghanistan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northwestern Pakistan.
Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has said it will block NATO trucks until the US ends drone strikes. His group has been a vocal critic of US drone strikes but only began direct action last Saturday.
And on Sunday members of his party stopped trucks and roughed up drivers at a toll on the outskirts of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Police were present at the scene but did not attempt to stop the protesters, RT reported.
But police officer Behram Khan said as of Monday police would only permit peaceful protests by the side of the road and would not allow people to stop trucks as happened Sunday. He added that they had opened an investigation into the activist’s actions on Sunday that could lead to criminal charges. began targeting Islamic militants in drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal North West regions in 2004. They have been a highly controversial because of their violation of Pakistani sovereignty and the number of civilian casualties. Estimates of the number of civilians killed because of US drone strikes vary widely between 290 and almost 900.