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Pakistan to Raise Drones Issue at U.N. Human Rights Council

by AFP
Ethan Miller—AFP

Ethan Miller—AFP

Ministry of foreign affairs spokeswoman says Islamabad will take up issue if drone strikes don’t stop.

Pakistan on Thursday said it would raise the issue of U.S. drone strikes inside its territory at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

“We will go to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva if the drone strikes continue,” Tasneem Aslam, the spokeswoman for the ministry of foreign affairs said in a weekly news conference.

The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution on Dec. 18 2013 calling on states using drone strikes as a counter-terrorism measure to comply with their obligations under international law and the U.N. Charter. But in the latest U.S. missile strike after the U.N. resolution, at least three people were killed late on Wednesday night in Miranshah, North Waziristan.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry, as routine, condemned the fresh attack, terming it a violation of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Ties between the U.S. and Pakistan have been seriously strained over U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt as well as over sanctuaries for Afghan Taliban insurgents inside its borders. But human rights groups and Pakistani politicians say the missile attacks have killed innocent civilians and are a breach of sovereignty.

President Barack Obama has defended the drone strikes as an effective, lawful tool used with restraint to target suspected Al Qaeda militants. Last month a U.S. drone attack on a madrassah linked to the feared Haqqani militant network in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest killed at least six people. The attack, which militant sources said killed the Haqqanis’ spiritual leader along with five others, was extremely unusual as it was mounted outside Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas on the Afghan border.

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