Talks the only way to resolve issue of drone attacks: Foreign Secretary

Published: February 9, 2013
Foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani says drone strikes violate Pakistan's sovereignty. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani says drone strikes violate Pakistan's sovereignty. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani said on Friday that Pakistan was engaged in a dialogue with the United States and that it was the only way to resolve the issue of drone attacks.

Briefing Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs here, the Foreign Secretary said US drone attacks are unacceptable as these are violative of sovereignty of Pakistan, “Drone attacks are against sovereignty of Pakistan, against international law and against the UN charter.”

The foreign secretary said that about 3000 people have been killed in drone attacks, 80 per cent of whom, he admitted, were terrorists.

Despite the fact that 20 per cent of all those killed were civilians and not terrorists or that drone strikes were illegal under international law, Jilani reiterated that dialogue with the United States is the only way to resolve the issue.

The positive, Jilani pointed out, was that the international community is supporting Pakistan’s stance on drone attacks.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • NItin Gandhi
    Feb 9, 2013 - 2:47AM

    Whatever this Men has said is 100% TRUE, but he has to pay the price by resigning from his Post.
    Most Peoples in PAK does not like to hear these kind of True words.


  • numbersnumbers
    Feb 9, 2013 - 3:31AM

    Dear Foreign Secretary
    By chance are the legions of “foreign fighters” and your so-called “Good Taliban” possibly violating the “sovereignty” of Pakistan as they openly operate in (and rule) your Waziristans????
    Since the state of Pakistan is too weak/indecisive/conflicted to act against your “assets”, the Americans have to do it for you!
    As for the estimated 20% of estimated 3000 killed in drone strikes, how does that number of non militants killed compare with the some 30,000 plus Pakistanis INTENTIONALLY KILLED by terrorists over the past ten or so years?


  • Raj - USA
    Feb 9, 2013 - 3:40AM

    Action and not talks, is what US wants.


  • Raj - USA
    Feb 9, 2013 - 4:10AM

    Photo shows Jilani standing in front of the Indian Flag. Never knew Pakistan is in talks with India to resolve the issue of drone attacks.


  • Ahmad
    Feb 9, 2013 - 5:01AM

    Sovereignty is a joke in the face our current ruling cliques of stooges.


  • gp65
    Feb 9, 2013 - 5:23AM

    Not clear why the Indian flag shows in this picture?


  • vasan
    Feb 9, 2013 - 6:09AM

    A pakistani official from the external affairs dept is briefing about drone strikes by the US. Why is the Indian flag in the background ?


  • yajsingh
    Feb 9, 2013 - 6:41AM

    80% accuracy, with 20% civillians that chose to shelter terrorist…


  • Raj - USA
    Feb 9, 2013 - 7:18AM

    ET: Why is Jilani standing before the Indian flag in the photo?


  • Singh
    Feb 9, 2013 - 7:28AM

    How come in picture Indian Flag is in back ground of Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani?
    And also on right side.
    Do ET pay attention when choosing picture for story?
    ET will you ………….


  • Tahir
    Feb 9, 2013 - 7:33AM

    @numbersnumbers Justifying the killing of innocents because the Taliban does makes you just as bad as them.


  • Mirza
    Feb 9, 2013 - 10:08AM

    “Drone attacks are against sovereignty of Pakistan, against international law and against the UN charter.”
    The Drone attacks were approved by Gen Mush, he gave the US our airports and air space. In addition the Drones are coming from the US bases in S. Arabia. Pakistan has repeatedly said “no foreign boots on the ground” and the US knows it is what Pakistan cannot tolerate so they are respecting that. We keep condemning the drone attacks and the US keeps going that is the understanding. Why there is no reaction as was against Kerry/Lugar Bill, Memo to the US, Salala, to name a few?


  • Feb 9, 2013 - 12:31PM

    He should also have mentioned the “number: of talks tooRecommend

  • IceSoul
    Feb 9, 2013 - 12:53PM

    @Tahir: The people sheltering mass murderers are not innocent.


  • ab
    Feb 9, 2013 - 2:08PM


    It is very easy to sit in the comfort of one’s house listening to whatever you are being fed to and passing judgments against people. you know personally each and every people killed by drone attacks?.


  • Anwar
    Feb 9, 2013 - 2:20PM

    Counter droning may be more effective: until this world is bipolar again


  • cautious
    Feb 9, 2013 - 7:02PM

    The USA has made it clear that it will stop drone attacks as soon as Pakistan steps up to the plate and confronts the terrorist and eliminates the de facto sanctuaries – isn’t that dialogue enough?


  • Rex Minor
    Feb 10, 2013 - 7:51AM

    Drones which are monitored from the USA, and operate in the waziri territory also cause destruction in the main land of USA. The scientists who are at the disposal of the CIA have not yet woken up to this reality. Let them explain to their people about the extraordinary climatic conditions i the east coast.

    Rex Minor


  • Feb 10, 2013 - 7:31PM

    drone strike has been termed a great irritant in the bilateral relations between United States and pakistan.,not withstanding the fact that predator unmanned air craft put the insurgent’s hideout at stack,in the tribal areas with the assistant of Pakistani army and civilian leadership..
    both the countries are crystal clear in providing information.


  • Raj - USA
    Feb 10, 2013 - 10:10PM

    Drones that Pakistan always portrays as a controversy, violation of sovereignty, violation of human rights, killing of innocents, etc., would have been most welcome by anyone and all in Pakistan, Including Imran Khan had the US given Pakistan the drone technology. For many years Pakistan has been asking for the technology and was hoping that US would give it. So, it never protested for a long time. IK was also keeping quiet for a long time in the beginning as he did not have instructions from the Establishment. Political and religious parties were also doing the same under the same instructions. It is only when it dawned on Pakistan that US shall never give this technology that many started to talk of violation of sovereignty, killings of innocents, drones creating more militants, etc. Just see the time frame when IK started talking against drone strikes. Former PM Gillani is on record asking US to give drone technology many times. So, are the establishment, media and others. Musharraf allowed bases for drones within Pakistan in the hope that Pakistan can somehow get or steel this technology. It never happened as the predator drone technology is too complicated. Parliament (as instructed by the establishment) passed unanimous resolutions demanding drone strikes to stop. This was just a strategy to put pressure in US to give drone technology to Pakistan. Kayani said that Pakistan can shoot down the drones. However, Pakistan never brought up the issue of drones in UN or any international fora. Not sure if Pakistan government has even demanded formally in writing asking US to stop drone strikes. All you read is one sided statements from Pakistan which US does not care. Drone strikes have continued even after Salala incidence.


  • Rex Minor
    Mar 18, 2013 - 5:28AM

    Has somebody told this guy what the responsibility of a foreign secretary is? Make sure that no one from ppp does land on the list of Drone commander -in -chief. Mr Obam is in charge of droning operations. Please also have talks with India so that they do not start a nuke attack on Pakistan in the year of Kali Yuga.

    Pacific is the achilles heal of the USA; North Korea has served notice for nuclear attack and not talks. Chuck Hagel, the most decent of all Defense ministers has promised to be ready in two years time with missile defence against North Korea.

    Rex Minor


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