ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said drone strikes constitute dangerous precedent in inter-state relations and have negative impact on Government’s efforts to bring peace and stability in the country and the region.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam addressing a weekly briefing strongly condemned Wednesday’s drone strike by the United States in Miran Shah and said these should be stopped.
She said these strikes are violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. She said Pakistan has been raising its concern over drone strikes with the US administration and at the UN.
The spokesperson said drone strikes are counter productive and entail loss of innocent civilian lives and also have human rights and humanitarian implications.
Replying to a question she said the use of technology to kill even high value target was not justified if it is violation of the international law and results into killing of innocent civilians.
She said steps are being taken to build international consensus, which exists now and is getting strong to bring about a change in this policy.
The spokesperson said Pakistan would be tabling a resolution against drones in the Human Rights council in Geneva.
Commenting on the kind of relationship with the United States following withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the spokesperson pointed out that the relationship between the two countries was diversified and not a single issue, specific.
She said the two countries are already engaged in cooperation in defence, economic, power and educational fields and this cooperation would continue. In Afghanistan, she said, “We do not known what will be the shape of US presence and the kind of collaboration there would depend on events in Afghanistan and the kind of US presence there”.
To a question, the spokesperson rejected smear campaign being launched by some vested interests against Pakistan-China cooperation in the field of civil nuclear technology.
She said this cooperation is exclusively for peaceful purposes and is fully covered under IAEA safeguards as well as in conformity with international commitments of both countries.
She pointed out that Pakistan has forty year experience of maintaining and safeguarding its civilian nuclear power plants. Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, an autonomous body, regulates and ensures safety and security of civilian nuclear materials and facilities. It works closely with IAEA.
To a question she said Pakistan is also engaged in dialogue with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group for membership and cooperation in civilian nuclear technology.
About verdict of the International Court of Arbitration in Kishan Ganga dispute, the spokesperson said there is need to implement the decision in letter and spirit.
She said the court has upheld its earlier decision prohibiting depletion below dead storage level as a general principle on run of the river projects.
The spokesperson welcomed Indian External Affairs Minister’s statement that there was no option but dialogue between Pakistan and India. She said the only way forward to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries is dialogue and resolution of these issues is only way to establish durable peace in the region.
To another question she said a number of Pakistani prisoners are languishing in Indian jail and once they complete sentence in one case they are sentenced in some other.
She confirmed that Pakistan Minister of State for Commerce will have a meeting with Indian Commerce Minister on the sidelines of a SAARC meeting in New Delhi next month.
They would review the roadmap that was agreed upon by commerce secretaries of the two countries in September 2012 for trade liberalization but the process was disrupted as the composite dialogue process was stalled.