GENEVA: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, on Monday spoke out against the use of armed drones.
In her statement on the opening day of the 23rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council, Pillay said she was “profoundly disturbed at the human rights implications of the use of armed drones in the context of counter-terrorism and military operations”.
The High Commissioner’s statement echoed Pakistan’s long held position that drone strikes are counter-productive.
Ambassador Zamir Akram, Pakistan Permanent Representative to the UN, reiterated this point in his statement and said that Pakistan has been making a similar argument for many years.
The ambassador stated, “We have heard statements revising such tactics but we have heard such claims before – only to be negated by contrary actions.”
He went on to make a reference to the recent judgement passed by the Peshawar High Court, terming the use of drones to be a violation of international law and Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The High Commissioner also criticised the failure of the US to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center and said that “measures that violate human rights did not uproot terrorism; they nurture it”.