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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistani FM says U.S. drones cause civilian casualties

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 30, IRNA -- Pakistani Hina Rabbani Khar said Tuesday that U.S. drone strikes and resulting civilian casualties on Pakistan's territory undermine the country’s battle for hearts and minds.

“American Drone attacks are counter-productive‚ against international law and a violation of our sovereignty,” she said while addressing a session of the Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

She said that loss of precious human lives cannot be simply dismissed as “collateral damage,” according to the text of her speech released to the media by the Foreign Ministry.

“I have been told that a number of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council have also spoken on the issue of drones strikes vis-à-vis human rights. I urge the Council, the main UN body on human rights, to discuss comprehensively the human rights challenges linked with the drone strikes,” she said.

Ms. Khar said Pakistan’s position on the U.S. strikes in the country’s tribal region is very clear that these attacks are counter-productive, against international law and a violation of our sovereignty.

He said the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has also raised this issue during her visit to Pakistan in June 2012. “She expressed her concern over the use of armed drones for targeted attacks, in particular because it is unclear that all persons targeted are combatants or directly participating in hostilities,” Ms. Khar said.

Referring to terrorism and extremism‚ the foreign minister said Pakistan lost nearly seven thousand soldiers and policemen‚ and over forty thousand people. The total cost of this struggle to Pakistan's economy over the last decade has been nearly seven billion dollars.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80394357

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