Pakistan agrees with objective of drones, but they are illegal: Khar

Published: September 27, 2012
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Foreign minister says Pakistan is working with the US government on resolving this issue. PHOTO: REUTERS

Foreign minister says Pakistan is working with the US government on resolving this issue. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK: Pakistan does not disagree with what drones are trying to achieve by targeting terrorists but they remain unlawful and illegal, said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday.

She added that Pakistan is working with the US government on resolving this issue.

While refusing to comment on the Wall Street Journal’s story on drones during a talk at the Asia Society in New York, Khar said that the drone strikes are a reason why the US is unpopular in Pakistan.

“In the case of drones, it is like choosing to win a battle at the cost of the war. Because these are battles, you get one terrorist; you get two terrorists, fine. But are you winning the war?,” Khar questioned.

In response to a question regarding the bounty announced by Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour against the filmmaker of an anti-Islam film, the foreign minister said that the government and the Bilour’s Awami National Party (ANP) have disassociated themselves from the call. She added that ANP chief Asfandyar Wali too was surprised at minister’s statements.

When asked about the violence that erupted in response to the anti-Islam movie, she said that the violence on the streets “embarrassed” her.

“This is not what Islam teaches us,” said Khar, adding that there is a need to have a debate on how to handle issues like the blasphemous film rather than just condemning it.

Talking about Afghanistan, Khar said that Pakistan had committed to spending $300 million on the future of Afghan children, adding that given the limited resources Pakistan has, this investment is a sign of Pakistan’s intent.

The foreign minister pointed out that she had visited Kabul at least four times during her tenure – more than her predecessor.

Elaborating on Pakistan’s foreign policy vis-à-vis India and Afghanistan, Khar said they were building confidence in the relationships. She said that Kashmir remains a core issue and that the Kashmiri people deserved same rights as everyone else.

Acknowledging that she is a foreign minister who belongs to a privileged background, Khar said in future, she would like to see a Pakistan where any man or woman could become foreign minister regardless of their background.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Bill Maher (SFO)
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:29PM

    We we should all watch All the president’s men (woman in this case) and get to know the verb:
    Non-denial denial . Double negative – But for a good reason.

    Def (wiki):
    “Non-denial denial is a statement that seems direct, clear-cut and unambiguous at first hearing, but when carefully parsed is revealed not to be a denial at all, and is thus not untruthful”

    ..pc

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  • gp65
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:34PM

    “Pakistan does not disagree with what drones are trying to achieve by targeting terrorists but they remain unlawful and illegal, said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday.”

    Intially it appeared the army had finally agreed to a limited operation in NWA but the COAS backed off. So what alternative does Pakistan propose that is legal and will achieve the objective?

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  • sundar
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:43PM

    Pakistan does not disagree with what drones are trying to achieve by targeting terrorists but they remain unlawful and illegal…..
    Lady, what are you saying? You agree with drones and says it illegal. Are we hearing you right?
    You want to let the drones do your dirty work and blame the Americans for the backlash.
    “This is not what Islam teaches us,” ‘Islam is peace ” Islam is a way of life” Muslims should stop saying this. These statements mean nothing as long as you guys continue to do what you are doing right now.

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  • Cautious
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:43PM

    Khar said that the drone strikes are a
    reason why the US is unpopular in
    Pakistan.

    Perhaps – but the core reason that the USA is unpopular is the non stop anti American blather that comes from every quarter in Pakistan – including the govt, military, politicians, religious leaders and Ms Khar herself. You could stop the drone attacks today and the level of anti American sentiment wouldn’t change a lick.

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  • Anti Drone
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:45PM

    And what is the govt doing to stop this illegal and brutal attacks from happening everyday? i think they are being ignored like every other illegal thing happening in this country on daily basis…Sad but True

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  • me
    Sep 27, 2012 - 10:58PM

    In the case of drones, it is like choosing to win a battle at the cost of the war. Because these are battles, you get one terrorist; you get two terrorists, fine. But are you winning the war?,”

    Only strategy to win war,nuke pakistan.Then all terroist will be dead.

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  • Sep 28, 2012 - 12:12AM

    Under U.N. Security Council Resolution (Chapter VII) 1373, Pakistan has the binding sovereign duty to eliminate terrorists, terror-training camps, terror financing, and terror haven from Pakistani territory. Failure to do so – as in North Wazirstan – nulls Pakistan’s sovereignty with regards to attacks on terrorists. The attacks on terrorists who have declared war on the U.S. and Afghanistan’s government are legal as self-defence, and claims of Pakistani sovereignty simply don’t apply.

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  • Zaid Hamid
    Sep 28, 2012 - 12:23AM

    What is this non-sense? Agree but illegal..?

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  • Megatron
    Sep 28, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Masha Allah…We finally admitted that we are killing our own people for the sake of $$$…Imran Khan is right ,our governemnent is befooling its own people by giving statements against drones…May Allah guide our such people who are killing our innocent muslims brothers and sisters if not i pray that Allah destroy them…Ameen

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  • gp65
    Sep 28, 2012 - 12:56AM

    “Pakistan does not disagree with what drones are trying to achieve by targeting terrorists but they remain unlawful and illegal, “

    Please provide a legal and lawful alternative that would help to accomplish the goal which you also agree with.

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  • Nand
    Sep 28, 2012 - 1:31AM

    ‘Pakistan is working with the US government on resolving this issue.’
    A sovereign Country with its people boasting of its Nuclear capabilities is afraid of USA. Shame on you and for being a coward.

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 28, 2012 - 1:40AM

    @gp65,

    “Please provide a legal and lawful alternative that would help to accomplish the goal which you also agree with.”

    How are you handling your Maoist “terrorists”? Using drones? What “legal” path are you following?

    Finally, go home. Afghanistan is known as the “graveyard of an empire” for a reason.

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  • Raw is War
    Sep 28, 2012 - 1:45AM

    illegal but agree

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  • Adeel
    Sep 28, 2012 - 1:48AM

    “Pakistan agrees with objective of drones, but they are illegal”

    what a statement…ridiculous!!!!

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  • Zeeshan
    Sep 28, 2012 - 1:54AM

    Hina Rabbani Khar, in my opinion, is a reasonable Foreign Minister working for a rotten leaderships. The more I listen to her, the more I find her to be a reasonable voice for her nation. She surely has a tough job talking to multiple invaders but she (or whoever behind her) represents the nation well.

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  • S
    Sep 28, 2012 - 2:47AM

    absolute non sense, agree but illegal. What can be expected from PPP?

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  • G. Din
    Sep 28, 2012 - 2:54AM

    @gp65:
    “Please provide a legal and lawful alternative that would help to accomplish the goal which you also agree with.”
    Drone attacks will become legal and lawful (is there a difference in the two terms?) when America will do what Pakistan wants it to do – handover drones and the technology to Pakistan on the promise that Pakistan will do all the droning itself. Only later America will discover that it has been duped once again when the drones will seek Indians instead of the “non-state” actors!

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  • gp65
    Sep 28, 2012 - 4:03AM

    @Zeeshan: “How are you handling your Maoist “terrorists”? Using drones? What “legal” path are you following?”

    Two points:
    1. India is not twiddling thumbs in Maoist areas. There is a holistic approach consisting of development and addressing of legitinmate grievance of tribals while simultaneously breaking up the Maoist network using the might of the state. But your country refuses to do an operation in NWA.

    Indian Maoists are ot attacking people in other countries. That cannot be said about people in NWA.
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  • gp65
    Sep 28, 2012 - 6:54AM

    To all posters who are annoyed by agree but illegal: I think the intention is to say that she agrees with the goal of eliminating terrorists but thinks that using drones as a method to do so is illegal.

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  • Thoughtful
    Sep 28, 2012 - 8:13AM

    This foreign minister is beginning to sound more and more incoherent.

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  • Polpot
    Sep 28, 2012 - 8:16AM

    Great We now have a full range of denials and everyone can choose whatever they prefer
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    In case you misunderstood…Ms Khar calls it better understanding.

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  • Prakash
    Sep 28, 2012 - 8:29AM

    In short, you agree with the outlaws!

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  • aleena
    Sep 28, 2012 - 9:49AM

    if you would have been living in waziristan and would be one of the drone attack victim, than i ask you that you still believe that drone attacks are for the right objective but are illegal “so make it legal please…” in hidden words. this is the height of atrocity when you start endorsing the wrong doings.

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  • yaz
    Sep 28, 2012 - 12:39PM

    She needs to go with Imran Khan to Waziristan to see how many terrorists have been killed and what are the civilian casualties. How many women and children have been maimed and traumatized.

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  • Enlightened
    Sep 28, 2012 - 1:50PM

    I am a bit confused on Pakistan govt stand on drones but the only thing which is clear to me is that drone attacks would continue.

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  • G. Din
    Sep 28, 2012 - 6:24PM

    @Zeeshan: to gp65
    ” Afghanistan is known as the “graveyard of an empire” for a reason.”
    If the implication is that India is seeking an empire in Afghanistan, Afghans themselves will rebut you. What was strategic depth all about, if not an empire? And, you are right, Afghans buried you along with “strategic depth” , a cockamamie concept of little minds!
    India has accomplished in 10 years in Afghanistan what Pakistan could not in 65 years. Simple reason! We don’t use people! We try to be genuine friends. Ask Afghans – and now Bangladeshis!

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  • Rowdy R
    Sep 28, 2012 - 11:22PM

    I think Ms. Khar is taking lessons from “Rehman Malik School of Public comments”.

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  • Sami
    Sep 29, 2012 - 5:26PM

    @G. Din,

    from Bangladeshis? you got to be joking..

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  • Toba Alu
    Oct 1, 2012 - 12:00PM

    I do not disagree with those who agree that drone attacks are illegal. I agree that its legal to disagree with the US on illegal drone attacks, but which are legal in the view of those who are acting illegal. Why not act legally on those you disagree with?

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