Territorial infringement: UN may be approached to halt drone strikes

Published: April 25, 2011
Pakistan to mount diplomatic pressure on the US administration to halt drone strikes in its tribal regions.

Pakistan to mount diplomatic pressure on the US administration to halt drone strikes in its tribal regions.


Pakistani leadership is considering approaching the UN Security Council (UNSC) to mount diplomatic pressure on the US administration for halting drone strikes inside its tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

The move comes amid rising tensions on the streets against the attacks by the American CIA-operated pilot-less aircraft in North and South Waziristan tribal regions with some political parties taking out public rallies. US officials privately argue that these strikes are helpful in taking out “high-value targets” from al-Qaeda and affiliated groups allegedly hiding in the tribal badlands. However, officially, the Americans don’t own drone attacks.

But Pakistani leaders are opposed to these strikes, saying that they complicate the country’s counter-terror efforts by alienating the local tribal population.

There has been a significant rise in diplomatic tensions between Islamabad and Washington over these unilateral strikes despite several high-level contacts between the top diplomatic and military officials from both sides.

It was Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani who told the National Assembly recently that Islamabad would pile up diplomatic pressure on Washington for putting an end to drone hits.

Until now Pakistan has been negotiating with the US to stop these attacks bilaterally. But now Islamabad has decided to use multilateral forums, like the UN, to put diplomatic pressure on the US administration to end them.

“We have decided it in principle. We will soon be preparing our case for approaching the UN on these attacks,” a federal minister told The Express Tribunes requesting anonymity.

Another official also confirmed it. “Since the UNSC resolution that allowed international forces’ attack Afghanistan back in 2001 did not sanction any hot pursuit inside Pakistan, we have a solid case.”

Though it is still not decided how the UNSC would be asked to use its influence to stop drone attacks, the minister said the preferred methods might be to send a letter to the council through a cabinet panel.

The cabinet committee on national security had decided in a meeting last year that Pakistan should add “aggression” in its pursuit to secure Islamabad’s “vital” interests in  Afghanistan by disseminating some “rough and tough” messages to Washington.

“That is what we want to do ahead of the Afghan endgame … our decision to go to the UNSC is a part of the policy of sending rough and tough messages,” the minister added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Moise
    Apr 25, 2011 - 8:17AM

    Finally establishment growing backbone. There are lot of options to throw out US diplomatically, bring Qureshi on board, he can help.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 25, 2011 - 9:59AM

    So long as Pakistan allows terrorist sanctuary – no one is going to support Pakistan’s claim to sovereignty. In case you haven’t notice it – every single member of the UN security council has concerns over Muslim extremist – and everyone is concerned with Pakistan’s govt using terrorist as strategic weapons.Recommend

  • kinza
    Apr 25, 2011 - 12:39PM

    And dear Cautious , how many believe in US now ? In you so-called democracy and freedom of press . These all are relative things to every nation and person. If Taliban has killed 1 person US has killed 10 persons . So the equation is 1:10 and US is a biggest terrorist comparatively Recommend

  • Khurram Akhtar
    Apr 25, 2011 - 3:07PM

    Dear Cautious, let me build your case. Lets find some “Weapons of mass destruction in Pakistan ” and then attack. Its easy and simple. Go Go Go Go Go. Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 25, 2011 - 3:24PM

    LOL !!!! So all the underhand deals and agreements are now null and void!!!!!!!
    So now UN is going to tell USA to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Remember who pays their bills too! and for that matter yours too!
    So if i were in Pakistan’s shoes i would shut up until as such time i am prepared to deal with these cockroaches that have infested their own back yard!!!!
    Secondly it would be nice if the Govt and army of Pakistan actually enlighten the rest of International community, as to how much financial assistance it was provided for US to operate the drones from their own Airfields!!!!
    then perhaps we the normal people will be understand the value of these drones flights to Pakistan in financial terms if not in war on Terror!!!!Recommend

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