United Nations, Date 2 (News Agency) – Pakistan’s representative to United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi demanded an immediate cessation of drone strikes on Pakistan. Lodhi said that these attacks are violating sovereignty of the country and are affecting adversely. America had attacked Pakistan using unmanned aerial vehicle – Drone, to kill Taliban Chief, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. Pakistan had registered a strong reaction on the same. However America had warned that in order to target terrorists in Pakistan, the drone attacks on Pakistan will have to continue.
Maleena Lodhi while sternly criticizing the drone attacks said that these attacks are violating sovereignty of Pakistan. She added that these strikes are illegal and that counter terrorism measures violating territorial integrity and sovereignty of states can be counterproductive and also fuel religious extremism. Lodhi referred to a report that has been published recently (by the Human Rights Council) regarding this issue and stated that this report was the “first step in the right direction”. Maleena Lodhi’s speech has been supported by Pakistani newspapers.
Since 2004 America started drone attacks in Pakistan. Democratic government which came to rule after Pervez Musharraf, has blamed military dictator, former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf that he himself had given permission to America for these drone attacks. Pakistan’s President Asif Zardari has held Musharraf responsible for putting the country in this situation by signing cconfidential agreements regarding drone attacks. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also blamed Musharraf for the drone attacks. Musharraf has however bluntly refused all the allegations.
Pervez Musharraf has defended himself with an argument that the drone attacks were very few and less severe while he was ruling, and since ‘Pakistan People’s Party’ started ruling Pakistan, the number and severity of drone attacks has been increasing. So after America’s drone attack in Pakistan, a lot of time was spent in the blame-game.
However American drones used this time to attack from Pakistan’s airports. In Novemner 2011 American drones were struck at Pakistan’s Salala check-post near the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The drone attack killed 22 Pakistani soldiers. After the attack, outraged Pakistan demanded US to vacate their check-point. America had warned Pakistan that changing the check-post did not mean that drone attacks would stop.
Even after resistance from Pakistan, America continued with the drone attacks. Although Pakistani government publicly condemns the drone attacks, it is just a farce to show to the public. Pakistan Government’s support to drone attacks was also revealed, which had put the ruling government in an awkward position. However on 21 May America’s drones attacked Pakistan to kill Taliban Chief, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor which has led to a strong reaction in Pakistan, opposing drone attacks. Maleeha Lodhi’s speech in the UN General Assembly is also a part of the anti-drone campaign.
However few days back, America’s biggest power had declared that the drone attacks would not stop till the end of the terrorism. So it seems like Pakistan’s anti-drone campaign is not taken seriously by anyone.