The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been ordered to shoot down attack drones operated by United States forces if they violate Pakistani airspace, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said on Thursday.
The chief of air staff was speaking as chief guest at the opening ceremony of Air Tech Conference and Techno Show at Air University, Islamabad, Daily Pakistan reported.
The statement comes nearly a week after four people died when a US drone fired a missile at a reported hideout of the Haqqani network along Pak-Afghan border.
This is the first time the Pakistani government has taken a tough stand against drones operated by US forces based in Afghanistan which have been accused being indifferent to collateral damage in drone attacks, often in crowded areas.
Some 35 alleged terrorists and over 100 bystanders have been killed in drone attacks over the past two years besides injuries to many and destruction of property, according to published reports.
In June this year, a PAF JF-17 aircraft had shot down an Iranian drone over Parom area of Panjgur district, Balochistan, some 45km inside Pakistan territory, local media had claimed asserting that the drone was on a spying mission, a claim denied by Tehran.
The US claims that the drone attacks are based on precise intelligence about the presence terrorist gang members operating along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Public opinion in Pakistan is heavily against drone attacks and there have been many demonstrations against the unilateral US actions.