Pakistan terms US drone strikes as illegal, America justifies

US drone flying over Pakistan's Fata region: File pic
US drone flying over Pakistan's Fata region: File pic

The US drone strikes in Pakistan’s restive Fata region are illegal and violation of international law, Pakistan’s envoy to US has said. However, America has justified the use of drones.

Islamabad, Feb 6/Nationalturk -: Pakistan has termed US drone strikes in country’s restive Fata region as illegal, violation of international law and violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

“The US drone strikes in North Wazirisation, South Wazirisatan and other parts of Fata region were a clear violation of our sovereignty and a violation of international law,” Pakistan’s envoy to US Sherry Rehman told Christian Science Monitor in Washington.

She said the US drone strikes are illegal and have threatened stable relations between the Pakistan and America.

The United States has launched hundreds of drone strikes in Fata, killing scores of top Al-Qaeda and Taliban militant leaders. While admitting that several top terrorists have been killed in these strikes, Pakistan government has been continuously saying that US drone strikes have killed large number of innocent civilians, which is fuelling anti-US and anti-Pakistan sentiment among the tribes of the region.

“The US drone strategy creates more potential terrorists on the ground and militants on the ground instead of taking them out. We need to drain the swamp, but instead it is radicalising people,” Rehman said.

She said drones, as precision anti-terror tools, may have some efficacy, but Pakistan does not see them as operationally productive the way they are used. “The use of US drones on Pakistani soil gives the impression that the fight against terrorism is the United States’ fight and not Pakistan’s and that these operations also cast U.S. in negative light”.

“There is no question of any quiet complicity in the US drone strikes on Pakistani soil, Rehman responded when asked if Pakistan was publicly criticizing the drone operations while privately allowing the US to go ahead with strikes.

“We have been working together to degrade and destroy al-Qaeda ranks – while we move towards diminishing al-Qaeda ranks in our region, the time for drone strikes is over,” the Pakistan envoy to US said.

Drones are legal, ethical and wise: US

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told a briefing in Washington yesterday that US drone strikes on potential terrorist targets were ‘legal,’ ‘ethical’ and ‘wise’ and would continue.

“The US government takes great care in deciding to pursue an Al Qaeda terrorist, to ensure precision and to avoid loss of innocent life.”

US argues that the drones target al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal regions, who are blamed for cross-border attacks into Afghanistan on foreign and Afghan forces.

The issue of US drone strikes in Pakistan has been a major irritant in bilateral relationship between the two countries and the latest different stance indicates that the problem remains unresolved.


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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk Pakistan News


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