ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it would raise the issue of US drone strikes inside its territory at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“We will go to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva if the drone strikes continue” Tasneem Aslam, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a weekly news conference.
The UN General Assembly passed a resolution on December 18, 2013 calling on states using drone strikes as a counter-terrorism measure to comply with their obligations under international law and the UN Charter. But in the latest US missile strike after the UN resolution, at least three people were killed late on Wednesday night in Miranshah in the country’s northwestern tribal district of North Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. The Foreign Ministry condemned the fresh attack, terming it a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Tasneem Aslam said drone strikes constitute dangerous precedent in inter-state relations and have negative impact on government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in the country and in the region. She said drone strikes are counterproductive and entail loss of innocent civilian lives and also have human rights and humanitarian implications.
To a question, she said the use of technology to kill even a high value target was not justified if it is violation of the international law and results into killing of innocent civilians.
Commenting on the kind of relationship with the United States following withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the spokeswoman pointed out that the relationship between the two countries was diversified and not a single issue specific. She said the two countries are already engaged in cooperation in defence, economy, power and educational fields.
In Afghanistan, she said, “We do not know what will be the shape of US presence and the kind of collaboration there would depend on events in Afghanistan and the kind of US presence there.”
The spokeswoman rejected a “smear campaign being launched by some vested interests” against Pak-China cooperation in the field of civil nuclear technology. She said this cooperation is exclusively for peaceful purposes and is fully covered under IAEA safeguards as well as in conformity with international commitments of both countries. She pointed out that Pakistan has 40 years experience of maintaining and safeguarding its civilian nuclear power plants.
To a question, she said Pakistan is also engaged in dialogue with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group for membership and cooperation in civilian nuclear technology. About verdict of the International Court of Arbitration in Kishanganga dispute, the spokeswoman said there is need to implement the decision in letter and spirit. She said the court has upheld its earlier decision prohibiting depletion below dead storage level as a general principle on run of the river projects.
She welcomed Indian external affairs minister’s statement that there was no option but dialogue between Pakistan and India. She said 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, she said a number of Pakistani prisoners are languishing in Indian jail and once they complete sentence in one case they are sentenced in some other.
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