Sunday, October 27, 2013

No explicit or implicit consent given for drone strikes: Pakistan

Pakistan has strongly denied a UN report that members of its government had given consent to controversial drone strikes in the country and demanded an end to such attacks which incite hatred.

Pakistan\'s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Masood Khan told a UN general assembly rights committee debate Friday that all drones strikes in his country are a \"chilling reminder that reprisal strikes by terrorists are around the corner.\"

\"They put all Pakistanis at risk. The psychological impact of the use of drones on the relatives of civilians killed in an inhumane manner incites sentiment and hatred and radicalises more people,\" he said adding that drone strikes are \"counter-productive\".

Khan\'s remarks came as Special Rapporteur on the \"promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism\", Ben Emmerson, submitted his interim report on the use of remotely piloted aircraft in counter-terrorism operations to the General Assembly.

In the report, Emmerson said there is \"strong evidence\" to suggest that between June 2004 and June 2008, drone strikes in Pakistan\'s lawless 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.\"

Khan rebutted Emmerson\'s claim saying, \"let me also state authoritatively that no explicit or implicit consent, approval or acquiescence has been given by the Government of Pakistan for the drone strikes.\"

He said use of drones violates Pakistan\'s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Hafiz Saeed claims US pressuring Pak to act against him

Lahore: Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed has claimed the US is demanding that the Pakistan government should take action against him because he had been opposing American drone strikes. \"The US is demanding the imposition of a ban on JuD because I am raising my voice on drone strikes. If this is my crime, I will continue committing it,\" he said while delivering a sermon during Friday prayers at the JuD\'s mosque in Chauburji here Friday. The founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed the US was \"speaking the language of India\". Saeed also claimed the Pakistan government had put the Kashmir issue on the back burner because of \"their weaknesses\".
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