The CIA-operated drones pounded suspected terrorist hideouts in Pakistan's tribal agencies for the third consecutive day on Monday killing over a dozen terrorists in North Waziristan which is said to be a strong hold of the Afghan Taliban.

This was the eighth drone attack in a fortnight and drew a response from the Foreign Office.

In a statement, the Foreign Office pointed out that Pakistan had consistently maintained that these illegal attacks were a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and are in contravention of international law. “It is our considered view that the strategic disadvantages of such attacks far outweigh their tactical advantages, and are therefore, totally counterproductive.''

The number of people killed in each drone attack is always a matter of conjecture because the terrorists usually cordon off the area and the locals are not allowed access to the place. With the tribal areas off-limits for journalists, information is often sketchy and unverified.

The dominant narrative in the country is against drone attacks though WikiLeaks has shown that both the civil and military leadership favours it in private and the anti-drone stance is primarily for public consumption.

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