Prime minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday tells the US to end drone strikes in Pakistan and said the issue has become a major irritant in the bilateral ties.
Ahead of his crucial meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House Wednesday,Sharif said the issue of drone strikes has deeply disturbed and agitated people of Pakistan.
This issue has become a major irritant in our bilateral relations. I would therefore stress the need for an end to the drone attacks, he said.
Addressing the think tank US Institute of Pakistan (USIP),Sharif told the audience: In my first statement to the parliament,I had reiterated our strong commitment to ensuring an end to the drone attacks.
More recently,our political parties in a national conference had declared that the use of drones is not only a continued violation of our territorial integrity,but also detrimental to our resolve and efforts at eliminating terrorism from our country.
Moments before Sharif urged the Obama administration to end drone strikes,Amnesty International called to do more to investigate the number of civilians killed and wounded by CIA drone strikes targeting al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. It alleged in a report that drone strikes are not only in violation of human rights but also may be war crimes.
Drones may have given the US unrivalled access to one of the most remote and lawless parts of the world,but immediate security concerns,real or perceived,must not and cannot be addressed by trampling on the rights of people in Pakistans tribal areas, Mustafa Qadri Pakistani researcher with the Human Rights Watch said.
Andrea Prasow,senior counter-terrorism counsel with the Amnesty International,said the US is not the only nation that has drones.
Drones are proliferating. And the failure to abide by international law now by the US will set a dangerous precedent for other nations to also disregard it. We have meticulously documented civilian deaths from air strikes in both Pakistan and Yemen and given a voice to some of the victims,but it should not require this much effort, he said.
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