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Pakistan to petition UNHRC on drone strikes

US attacks violate 'sovereignty, international law'

Pakistan to petition UNHRC on drone strikes

Anti-drone protesters marched on parliament buildings in Islamabad earlier this month. Picture: AFP Photo/Aamir Qureshi reporter, Islamabad

December 27, 2013

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Pakistan announced on Thursday that it would table a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council against US drone strikes, saying the strikes violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and international laws.

The announcement came after two missiles fired from a pilotless aircraft killed at least four suspected militants in Qutub Khel Village in North Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday.

“Pakistan has been raising its concerns over drone strikes with the US administration and at the UN. We will now take the matter to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said in a weekly news briefing in Islamabad.

“The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strike which took place in North Waziristan. These strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she said.

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution, urging states to ensure that any measures taken or means employed to counter terrorism, including the use of remotely piloted aircraft, comply with their obligations under international law including the charter of the United Nations, human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The resolution was hailed by Pakistan as a major diplomatic success since it carried for the first time a reference to the controversial use of unmanned drones by the US in the country's war on terror.

The use of technology to kill even high value targets was not justified if it is in violation of the international law and results in the killing of civilians, Aslam said.

“The drone strikes are counter productive and entail loss of innocent civilian lives and also have human rights and humanitarian implications,” she said.

Meanwhile, NATO supply routes continued to remain blocked in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province due to ongoing protests against the missile attacks.

In Peshawar, former cricket star and chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan, vowed to carry on the blockage of NATO supply routes.

“Our stance on drones is very clear. Peace could not be attained in Pakistan until the strikes are halted completely,” he told reporters.

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