Drone strikes unacceptable despite ‘tactical advantages’: Pakistan

Notwithstanding advantages, drones are unlawful, counterproductive and unacceptable, says foreign ministry spokesman.

Afp January 31, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday acknowledged “tactical advantages” to US drone strikes on the Taliban and al Qaeda, but appeared to shrug off the unexpected confirmation by Washington of attacks on its soil.

The remarks from Pakistan’s foreign ministry came as President Barack Obama confirmed for the first time that drone aircraft had targeted militants in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal areas on the Afghan border.

“Notwithstanding tactical advantages of drone strikes, we are of the firm view that these are unlawful, counterproductive and hence unacceptable,” ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told AFP in a text message.

“Our view has always been very clear and position principled,” he added.

US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks in late 2010 showed that Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders privately supported US drone attacks, despite public condemnation in a country where the US alliance is hugely unpopular.

When asked about drones in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube, Obama said “a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA” – Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan deteriorated sharply in 2011, over the covert American raid that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May and US air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Islamabad is now reviewing its entire alliance with the United States and has kept its Afghan border closed to Nato supply convoys since November 26.

It ordered US personnel to leave Shamsi air base in western Pakistan, widely believed to have been a hub for the CIA drone program, and is thought likely to only reopen the Afghan border by exacting taxes on convoys.


Shyam | 9 years ago | Reply

@Tim Hover taliban were proxies of USA during afghan russia war Correction- The Taliban were created byPakistan AFTER the Soviets left Afghanistan. The Mujahideen/Northern Alliance were US proxies in the Soviet-afghan war.

ahsan | 9 years ago | Reply

@Colonel: Soldiers never fire until fired upon,I don't know how you have said so,Sprinkling of Dollars,Riyals and Darhams through people like you was the main cause in70s,80s so on,elder always say ,FATA is place of all illegal trades where money is everything,killing of a soldier is a business,who has funded TTP and Jundullah,you have a answer.

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