ISLAMABAD – PTI Central Information Secretary, Shireen Mazari, expressed disappointment over the PM’s muted response this morning (Friday 22 Nov) to the US drone attack on Khyber Pukhtunkhwa; which signalled the crossing of a red line whereby the US is now using drone attacks beyond the Afghanistan- bordering FATA area of Pakistan into the “settled” areas of Pakistan.
Mazari criticised PM Nawaz Sharif for continuing with the hackneyed rhetoric of his predecessor about raising the drone issue on all forums! She said the PM had so far merely mentioned drones in passing in his UN General Assembly speech. The government had failed to bring the issue before the UN Security Council under Chapter VII. Mazari pointed out that the Prime Minister on his visit to the US had failed to out forward the APC mandate on drones forcefully which is why there was no mention of drones having even been discussed between Nawaz and Obama in the joint statement issued by the White House.
Equally disturbing for PTI was the fact that no demarche was issued to the US through its ambassador after the US had droned the initiation of the dialogue process also mandated by the APC. Even today no demarche has been issued against the drone attack on Hangu district of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa early Thursday morning.
Mazari asserted that PM Sharif claims his government will not do the “traditional” protest on drones but unfortunately his government has done absolutely no substantive protest on drones, beyond a few fiery rhetorical remarks by the Interior Minister who seems to have no backing from his party leadership on this issue.
“This lack of resolve on the part of the PM and his government is condemnable especially in the face of the April 2013 PHC judgement declaring drone attacks on FATA a war crime and in the face of growing international reports endorsing the same viewpoint” Mazari pointed out.
Even today the Prime Minister has failed to even issue a strong condemnation of the increasing brazenness of the US government in attacking Pakistan’s province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa with a drone. Mazari asserted that by any international law perspective this is a direct act of war against the state and people of Pakistan. “Yet the PM and his government remain silent spectators to the plight of their people and the US attacks on Pakistan’s sovereignty”, she concluded.