"We will take the revenge for our near and dear ones and announce a jihad against the Americans. We will allow our youths to carry out suicide attack on US citizens," tribal elder Malik Jalaluddin told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club yesterday. He was accompanied by other tribal leaders of North Waziristan Agency.
"We will show how we take revenge. We announce a jihad against the US and her allies sitting in our country," said Malik Jalal Sarhadi Qat Khel.
"We will avenge our tribesmen at any cost, even if it takes a hundred years," he added.
Over 40 people, a majority of them members of a jirga and personnel from a government militia force, were killed in drone strikes in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan on Thursday.
Islamabad has lodged a strong protest with Washington on the issue and announced it is pulling out of a trilateral meeting with Afghanistan and the US scheduled for later this month.
The tribal elders claimed the US had stepped up its adventurism in Pakistan's tribal belt following the release of arrested CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was freed on Wednesday after over USD two million was paid as "blood money" to the families of two men he killed in January.
The elders claimed that on the pretext of targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban elements in Waziristan agency, the US was killing only "innocent children, women and elders' in drone attacks.
"There are no Al Qaeda or Taliban militants in the agency," Malik Jalaluddin claimed.
Flanked by members of the grand jirga, including Malik Faridullah Saifli Kabal Khel, Malik Daaraz Mada Khel Wazir and Nek Daraz Khan, Malik Jalaluddin said the US actions amounted to "barbarism and complete injustice against innocent tribal people".
"The Pakistani government has never taken any action against incursions by the US unmanned planes. But we are not like people of Lahore who pardoned Raymond Davis, the killer of two Pakistanis, for dollars. We are determined to avenge our tribesmen and the world will see it," he said.