Pakistan `approved` US drone strikes: UN report
Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
New York: A report prepared by the United Nations has laid part of the blame on Pakistan for US drone strikes in its lawless tribal regions.
The report prepared by Ben Emmerson - the Special Rapporteur on the `Promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism` – states there is "strong evidence" of senior officials of Pakistan`s military, government and intelligence service having given their "active consent and approval" to CIA drone strikes between June 2004 and June 2008.
The report will be tabled before the UN General Assembly later on Friday and deals with use of drones in counter-terrorism operations.
Emmerson says in the 24-page interim report: "As regards Pakistan, there is strong evidence to suggest that between June 2004 and June 2008 remotely piloted aircraft strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas were conducted with the active consent and approval of senior members of the Pakistani military and intelligence service, and with at least the acquiescence and, in some instances, the active approval of senior government figures."
The revelation comes within days of Pakistan`s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meeting US President Barack Obama in Washington. At that meeting, Sharif had urged Obama to "end" drone strikes in his country.
As per official statistics, 330 drone strikes took place in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas since 2004. At least 2,200 people were killed in those strikes, apart from 600 others getting injured.
Among these deaths were 400 civilians and 200 others "probable non-combatants".
The report also dubs the strikes as "violation" of Pakistani sovereignty, "unless justified under the international law principle of self-defence."
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