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United States carried out 48 drone strikes in 2012: Pak rights body

Islamabad, April 4 (Xinhua-ANI): The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said Thursday that the United States carried out 48 drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal regions in 2012.

The HRCP announced this in its annual report. It also revealed that the U.S. had conducted 74 drone strikes in 2011.

The report strongly condemned drone attacks and called upon the U.S. to stop these attacks. The CIA-sponsored drone campaign is highly controversial in Pakistan, however, Washington has ruled out any change in the policy.

Pakistan publicly condemns the drone attacks for violating the country’s sovereignty and being counterproductive in its campaign against the militants.

The U.S. said drones target the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, who are hiding in Pakistan’s tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Secretary General of the Commission, I. A. Rehman, said that 1, 577 incidents of terrorism took place in the country last year leaving 2,055 people dead and 3,822 injured. He also said that a total of 121 schools were destroyed by the militants in the tribal regions and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

He said 2,284 people were killed in sectarian violence in the port city of Karachi last year.

According to the report at least 14 journalists were killed in different areas of the country last year.

The report adds that 83,000 Afghan refugees were repatriated to their motherland last year. However 2.6 million Afghan refugees are still living in Pakistan. (Xinhua-ANI)