Pakistan seeks UN ban on drone strikes against sovereign nations
Islamabad: Pakistan is seeking a United Nations ban on the unilateral use of drones against sovereign countries. Officials have revealed that Islamabad has insisted that increased reliance on drone strikes for combat operations may cause serious harm to global peace and stability, reports The Express Tribune.
Ben Emmerson, head of the United Nations team, which visited Pakistan to investigate civilian impact of drone, was conveyed Islamabad's strong opposition to the use of drones. A senior foreign ministry official said Islamabad was making all efforts to develop consensus at the UN against the unilateral drone use for counter-terrorism operations in any country.
Islamabad's opposition to the use of combat drones stems from its fears that other countries may emulate this policy particularly in South Asia where certain states have festering political disputes.
Pakistan expects that the final UN report to be tabled before the General Assembly later this year will help develop consensus against the use of drones as weapons. The UN launched investigations into the impact of counter-terrorism efforts, including the use of drones on civilians at the request of several countries, including Pakistan, in January this year.
In a statement issued after his trip, the head of the UN panel concluded that US drone strikes did in fact violate Pakistan's sovereignty.
He made this observation after reported being convinced by Pakistani authorities that there was no secret understanding with the US on drone attacks. The drone campaign was launched in Pakistan's tribal regions in 2004 by the Bush administration.
President Barrack Obama stepped up these attacks causing widespread anti-American sentiment across the country. Despite Pakistan's repeated opposition, the US has refused to halt the attacks as it considers the programme crucial to eliminate ''high value'' targets associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban.