Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Jan. 22 condemned US drone attacks as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and international law. Khar stated that the drone attacks are “counterproductive” and that she plans to discuss the issue with the US and its ambassador to Pakistan. Earlier this month, retired general Stanley McChrystal expressed similar concerns cautioning against the overuse of drone attacks and stating that their use breeds resentment around the world. US President Barack Obama, who personally approves each drone strike against suspected terrorists, is expected to sign off on a manual which will establish rules for the administration’s targeted killing program. However, the administration’s counter-terrorism manual will exempt drone strikes against al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan from being bound by the new rules.
Last month the US Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the government’s targeted killing of three US citizens in drone strikes, inclduing Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. In July Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US called upon the US to end the practice of using drone strikes in targeted killings. That same month, US lawmakers expressed concern over the use of drone strikes.
From Jurist, Jan. 22. Used with permission.