Pak may approach UN to halt US drone strikes in its territory

Last Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 23:52

Islamabad: Pakistan is mulling
approaching the UN Security Council to mount diplomatic
pressure on Washington for halting drone strikes inside its
tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, a media report claimed.

"We have decided it in principle. We will soon be
preparing our case for approaching the UN on these attacks," a
federal minister told The Express Tribune daily requesting
anonymity.

The move comes amid protests in Pakistan against the
attacks by the American CIA-operated pilot-less aircraft in
North and South Waziristan tribal regions.

The paper quoted another unnamed official as saying
that "since the UNSC resolution that allowed international
forces` attack Afghanistan back in 2001 did not sanction any
hot pursuit inside Pakistan, we have a solid case."

Though it is still not decided how the UNSC would be
asked to use its influence to stop drone attacks, the Minister
said the preferred methods might be to send a letter to the
council through a cabinet panel.

The cabinet committee on national security had decided
in a meeting last year that Pakistan should add "aggression"
in its pursuit to secure Islamabad`s "vital" interests in
Afghanistan by disseminating some "rough and tough" messages
to Washington, the daily said.

"That is what we want to do ahead of the Afghan
endgame...our decision to go to the UNSC is a part of the
policy of sending rough and tough messages," the paper quoted
the unnamed minister as saying.

The drone strikes have become a bone of contention
between the two nations.

US officials privately argue that these strikes are
helpful in taking out "high-value targets" from al-Qaeda and
affiliated groups allegedly hiding in the tribal badlands.

However, officially, the Americans don`t own drone attacks.
But Pakistani leaders are opposed to these strikes,
saying that they complicate the country`s counter-terror
efforts by alienating the local tribal population, the daily
said.

There has been a significant rise in diplomatic
tensions between Islamabad and Washington over these
unilateral strikes despite several high-level contacts between
the top diplomatic and military officials from both sides.

It was Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who told the
National Assembly recently that Islamabad would pile up
diplomatic pressure on Washington for putting an end to drone
hits.

Until now Pakistan has been negotiating with the US to
stop these attacks bilaterally. But now Islamabad has decided
to use multilateral forums, like the UN, to put diplomatic
pressure on the US administration to end them.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 23:52

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