Pakistan demands end to illegal drone strikes

At the UN, Pakistan demanded an immediate cessation of drone strikes that violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of State. Speaking in the General Assembly, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, condemned the continued use of drones and described these as blatant disregard of existing international commitments on the use of remotely piloted aircrafts.

This condemnation followed one by Pakistan’s envoy a fortnight ago in the Security Council. In the General Assembly she spoke right after the adoption by the 193 members world body of the resolution on the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

During the negotiations of the resolution that spanned over a month, Pakistan made strenuous efforts to further strengthen international commitments regarding illegal drone strikes and their impact.

Pointing to the achievements in this regard, Ambassador Lodhi highlighted recognition by Member States of the notion that counterterrorism measures violating territorial integrity and sovereignty of States can be counterproductive and can also fuel violent extremism.

She emphasized that noting the conclusions and recommendations of the report of the Human Rights Council on the use of drones, was the first step in the right direction. The report raises legal questions on the use of drones, points out their grave impact on fundamental human rights and expresses serious concerns on how their use undermines counterterrorism efforts.

The Pakistani envoy welcomed the consensus on the resolution, which she said served as a strong and united signal against the scourge of terrorism. She also appreciated a renewed focus on the preventive approach to terrorism, which included addressing the root causes of terrorism as well as the internal and external drivers of violent extremism.

She said that for Pakistan, such an approach was closely linked to promoting a culture of peace. The UN Declaration and Plan of Action, now included in the resolution, at Pakistan’s initiative, stresses the need to resolve protracted conflicts, ensure full realization of the people right to self-determination and addressing Xenophobia and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, culture and ethnicity.

In the resolution, as an active member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Pakistan was also able to mobilize support to revive the international community’s focus on ending foreign occupation, resolving conflicts and confronting oppression, as well as enhancing intercultural understanding and ensuring respect for all religions and religious values.

The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, adopted in 2006, is considered as the single most comprehensive and consensus-based counterterrorism strategy in the United Nations. It is reviewed every two years by UN Member States, through a resolution that seeks to develop understandings and measures, in particular regarding new challenges and developments. It represents a broad consensus on the mutually shared goals and principles in the global fight against the scourge of terrorism”

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