Pakistan to take US drone issue to UN

Pakistan to take US drone issue to UN
Sun Sep 22, 2013 19:16:55

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is going to take the issue of continued US deadly drone strikes on its soil to the United Nations, a Pakistani newspaper report says.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials say the prime minister will present Islamabad's viewpoint with regards to the ongoing US drone strikes within Pakistani territory while addressing the global platform, English-language newspaper Dawn reported.

Sharif will represent Pakistan in the 68th session of the UN General Assembly scheduled from September 23 to September 29.

The developments come as a recent US drone strike left at least seven people dead in the country's troubled northwestern region. The unmanned vehicle fired four missiles at two houses in North Waziristan tribal area on Sunday.

Sharif has been a vocal critic of US drone strikes since his party won the general election in May.

He has frequently condemned the US assassination drone strikes in his country, describing them as a violation of international law and the UN charter.

Washington claims to target militants in the country but reports indicate that many of the drone strike victims are civilians. US President Barack Obama recently defended the use of controversial drones as “self-defense.”

A recent report by the British Bureau of Investigative Journalism says over 3,500 people have been killed in Pakistan by US drone attacks since 2004. Several prominent politicians and critics argue that the civilian deaths cause people to join militant groups.

Over the past several years, Washington has been launching drone attacks on Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, claiming that militants are the targets. However, casualty figures clearly indicate that civilians are the main victims.

The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington. The strikes have also triggered massive protests in Pakistan.

The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes in Pakistan pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law.

Philip Alston, UN special envoy on extrajudicial killings, said in a report in late October 2010 that the attacks were undermining the rules designed to protect the right of life.


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