[JURIST] Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hina Rabbani Khar [official profile] on Tuesday condemned US drone attacks as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and international law. Khar stated [NZ week report] 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 [Reuters report] against the overuse of drone attacks and stating that their use breeds resentment around the world. US President Barack Obama [JURIST news archive], who personally approves [BBC report] each drone strike against suspected terrorists, is expected to sign off on a manual which will establish rules [NYT report] for the administration’s targeted killing program. However, the administration’s counter-terrorism manual will exempt [WP report] drone strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan from being bound by the news rules.
The increasing use of drone strikes by the Obama administration has come under scrutiny recently. Last month the Department of Justice [official website] filed a motion to dismiss [JURIST report] a lawsuit challenging the US government’s targeted killing of three US citizens in drone strikes. In July Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US called upon the US to end the practice [JURIST report] of using drone strikes in targeted killings. That same month, US lawmakers expressed concern [JURIST report] over the use of drone strikes. JURIST Guest Columnist Samar Warsi of the Muslim Civil Liberties Union recently argued that Obama administration’s drone policy sets a dangerous precedent [JURIST comment] and undermines national security.