Pakistan's election hopefuls have expressed strong and vocal opposition to U.S. drone strikes within the country.
Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who participated in a government that visibly failed to do much to prevent drone strikes for five years, recently insisted that such strikes are "counter-productive."
Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and two-time former prime minister, similarly lambasted the U.S. policy saying that "Drone attacks are against the national sovereignty and a challenge for the country's autonomy and independence. Therefore, we won't tolerate these attacks in our territorial jurisdictions."
And no one has been more vocal and stringent in his opposition to drones than the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, Imran Khan, the increasingly popular and charismatic contender for prime minister. Khan has even gone so far as to promise that, if elected, his government will shoot down any drone that crosses into Pakistan after May 11.
Yet, despite all the heavy pre-election posturing and rhetoric, the million rupee question remains: is Pakistan legally entitled to shoot down U.S. drones that enter its territory?
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