US drones violate Pakistan sovereignty: UN
ISLAMABAD - Reuters
A Pakistani demonstrator carries a burning US flag in a protest in this file photo. AFP photoThe head of a U.N. team investigating casualties from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan has declared after a secret research trip to the country that the attacks violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Ben Emmerson, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said March 15 the Pakistani government made clear to him that it does not consent to the strikes, a position that has been disputed by U.S. officials. “Pakistan’s position is quite clear,” said Emmerson. “It does not consent to the use of drones by the U.S. on its territory and it considers this to be a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The drone campaign “involves the use of force on the territory of another state without its consent and is therefore a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty,” he said.Pakistan claimed the drone strikes were radicalizing a new generation of militants and said it was capable of fighting the war against Islamist extremism in the country by itself, said Emmerson.
U.S. President Barack Obama has stepped up covert CIA drone strikes targeting al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal region along the Afghan border since he took office in 2009. Pakistani officials regularly criticize the attacks in public as a violation of the country’s sovereignty, a popular position in a country where anti-American sentiment runs high.