US drone strikes have no consent from Pakistan govt: British MEP

British Member of European Parliament Sajjad Karim chairs high level hearing on drone strikes in Pakistan.


APP May 09, 2013
PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: British Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sajjad Karim said on Thursday that US drone strikes have no consent from the government of Pakistan and are outside the boundaries of legality.

“The US drone strikes have no consent from the Government of Pakistan, no transparency in their choice of targets and no legality in this conflict," the MEP observed after a high level hearing on US drone strikes in Pakistan held in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The hearing was chaired by Karim who also serves as the Conservative Legal Affairs spokesperson for the European Parliament.

The MEP further stated that, "US drone killings in Pakistan casts an even darker shadow with the Pakistani government,” explicitly reiterating that Pakistan had not consented to these strikes.

Ambassador of Pakistan to the European Union Munawar Bhatti echoed the British MEP's sentiments.

"We regard drone strikes as illegal in international law, counterproductive and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and integrity."

The issues of legality and transparency were key concerns for many of the other speakers as well.

Deptuy director of Reprieve Hilary Stauffer was critical of the use of signature drone strikes, which often target people based on certain suspicious movements.  "No one knows what makes you a target. That is why no one (in drone strike areas) is going about their daily lives," she observed during the hearing.

Karim ended the hearing by calling on the international community to address the situation immediately.

“If we do not address guidelines and legislation for this modern era of warfare then our future looks very bleak indeed."

Earlier on Thursday, the Peshawar High Court declared that US drones strikes are against UN charter and the Geneva Convention, and said that they challenged the sovereignty of Pakistan.

COMMENTS (8)

Mirza | 9 years ago | Reply

How many members does the European Parliament have? How much power in Europe's foreign policy do those members have? We are expert in picking and choosing the statements out of thousands of members of parliament of various European countries. This news if true is embarrassing that so many foreigners know so much about the internal policies of Pakistan.

Fazalkarim | 9 years ago | Reply

Britain is a country of influence. That brings responsibility. I commend british MEP speaking out on the issue of drones while fulfilling that responsibility.

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