Pakistan says US drone strikes have negative impact on peace efforts

Eurasia News

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday strongly condemned the latest US drone strike in North Waziristan, saying that such strikes constitute dangerous precedent in inter-state relations and have a negative impact on government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in the country and the region.

A US drone strike killed at least 4 suspected militants when it fired two missiles on a house in Qutab Khel village, five kilometres (three miles) south of Miranshah town of North Waziristan Agency last night.

In the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday, the Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam demanded an end to drone attacks and said that drone strikes are in violation of the international laws, counterproductive and also have human rights and humanitarian implications.

The spokespersons said that Pakistan has been raising its concern over drone strikes with the US administration and at the United Nations.

In reply to a question, the spokesperson said that the use of technology to kill even high value target was not justified if it is violation of the international law and results into killing of innocent civilians.

Tasnim Aslam said that steps are being taken to build international consensus‚ which exists now and is getting strong to bring about a change in this policy.

The FO spokesperson said that Pakistan would table a resolution against drones in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Referring to the relationship with the United States after the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan in 2014‚ the spokesperson pointed out that the relationship between the two countries was diversified and not a single specific.

Tasnim Aslam said that the two countries are already engaged in cooperation in defense‚ economic‚ power and educational fields and this cooperation would continue.

The spokesperson rejected smear campaign being launched by some vested interests against Pakistan-China cooperation in the field of civil nuclear technology.

The FO spokesperson said that this cooperation is exclusively for peaceful purposes and is fully covered under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as well as in conformity with international commitments of both countries.

Talking about the verdict of the International Court of Arbitration in Kishanganga dispute‚ the spokesperson said the court has upheld its earlier decision prohibiting depletion below dead storage level as a general principle on run of the river projects.

In addition, she welcomed the statement of the Indian minister for external affairs that there was no option but talks between Pakistan and India.

Tasnim Aslam said that the only way forward to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries is dialogue and resolution of these issues is only way to establish durable peace in the region.

To another question, the spokesperson said that a number of Pakistani prisoners are languishing in Indian jail and once they complete sentence in one case they are sentenced in some other.

The spokespersons confirmed that Pakistan Minister of State for Commerce will have a meeting with Indian Commerce Minister on the sidelines of a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in New Delhi next month.

They would review the roadmap that was agreed upon by commerce secretaries of the two countries in September 2012 for trade liberalization but the process was disrupted as the composite dialogue process was stalled.