Pakistan ambassador to US calls for end to drone strikes

[JURIST] Pakistan Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman [official website] on Friday called on the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] to stop using drone strikes [AP report] in a video conference debate with White House War Adviser Douglas Lute. Rehman stated earlier this month that she believes the use of unilateral drone attacks violates international human rights laws and standards [press release], and Pakistan's spy chief is expected to repeat this request for the US to stop using them at an intelligence summit in Washington, D.C., next week. Rehman stated during the video conference that she understands drone attacks have been useful in the War on Terror [JURIST news archive], but that they are now also helping al Qaeda recruit new members. She said Pakistan is seeking an end to drone strikes and "there will be no compromise" on this issue.

Pakistan officials are not the only ones to express concern of the use of drones by the US. Last week, US lawmakers called on Congress and the Department of Homeland Security [official website] to address safety and security concerns [JURIST report] with the use of drone attacks domestically and to determine how to regulate their use. Earlier this month, rights groups filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] suing the US government for killing three US citizens using drone strikes. The UN last month also criticized [JURIST report] the US government's use of drone attacks, saying some attacks could constitute war crimes. A few days earlier, a UN official said the US government failed to answer [JURIST report] any of his questions regarding its use of drone attacks and noted that in the past the US has failed to provide a justification for the legality of these attacks under international law.

 

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