World Bulletin/News Desk
Visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday added his voice to the growing chorus of criticism against drone attacks, branding them a violation of international law.
"International laws about drone attacks should be complied with," Ki-moon told a peace and stability conference at Islamabad's National University of Science and Technology.
Without directly mentioning US drone attacks in Pakistan's troubled northwestern Waziristan region, Ki-moon said that drone attacks should be regulated by international law.
The UN secretary-general, who arrived in Islamabad early Tuesday morning for a two-day visit, said drones should be used solely for information gathering.
Pakistan sees US drone attacks as a violation of its sovereignty and harmful to its ongoing peace efforts in the tribal belt.
The Obama administration, however, claims drone attacks are being carried out "carefully," specifically targeting Al-Qaeda and Taliban hiding out in South and North Waziristan.
Although Pakistan publicly denounces the drone attacks, there is a general perception in the country that the two partners in the so-called war on terror have a tacit agreement on the use of unmanned aerial drones.
According to international peace organizations and think tanks – including the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Amnesty International and the New America Foundation – over 3,000 Pakistanis have been killed in more than 360 drone attacks since 2004, more than 70 percent of them civilians including women and children.
The UN chief also lauded the Pakistani army's active participation in international peacekeeping missions.
Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kyani, who attended the conference, reiterated his country's commitment to international peacekeeping.
Currently, some 8,000 Pakistani army personnel are deployed in various UN peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world.Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2013, 13:17