Obama's drone statement: Pak calls it 'unlawful'



Islamabad: Hours after President Barack Obama confirmed that US drones regularly target militants in its tribal belt, Pakistan on Tuesday said such attacks were "unlawful" and a violation of its sovereignty.

"Our position on drone strikes is clear and based on principles. Drone attacks are unlawful, counter-productive and hence unacceptable," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in a text message.

"We cannot condone the violation of our sovereignty," he said.

Obama confirmed for the first time that US drones had targeted militants in Pakistan's tribal areas during a chat with users of Google+ and YouTube.

He said "a lot of these strikes have been in" Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

"For the most part, they've been very precise precision strikes against al-Qaeda and their affiliates, and we're very careful in terms of how it's been applied," Obama said.

"This is a targeted focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases, and so on... For us to be able to get them in another way would involve probably a lot more intrusive military action than the ones we're already engaging in," he said.

PTI