News / USA

Drone Strikes Add to Difficulties of US-Pakistan Relationship

FILE - President Barack Obama gestures while making the second of three points while speaking in the State Dining Room of the White House.
FILE - President Barack Obama gestures while making the second of three points while speaking in the State Dining Room of the White House.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet Wednesday at the White House. The meeting comes a day after human rights organizations criticized the United States for the secrecy surrounding its drone campaign in Pakistan.

The drones are expected to be high on the agenda at Wednesday's talks .

In an address at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington on Tuesday, Sharif said he wants to see U.S.-Pakistan relations improve "but the issue of drones has become a major irritant in our bilateral relationship."

His comments came as the Britain-based rights group Amnesty International called on the U.S. to end the secrecy surrounding its drone campaign in Pakistan.

In a report released Tuesday, Amnesty International said the U.S. "appears to have committed very serious" human rights violations that might even amount to war crimes.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. strongly disagree with claims that the drone strikes violate international law.

Amnesty International's report outlines 45 missile strikes by pilotless planes in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal territory from January 2012 to August 2013. It says in one case, a 68-year-old grandmother was killed while in a field picking vegetables. In another, it said, 18 laborers were killed by a drone strike as they prepared to eat their evening meal.

Pakistani leaders say they strongly oppose the drone strikes, but some critics believe the operations aimed at suspected al-Qaida and Taliban operatives are part of a secret agreement under which Pakistan tacitly approves the U.S. strikes.

Amnesty International is calling on the United States and Pakistan to publicly disclose all information possible about the strikes. The report says locals in the area where the drones strike live in constant fear of violence from all sides.

U.N. Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson has also called on the United States for more transparency. In preliminary findings last week, he quoted Pakistani officials as saying the drone attacks have killed at least 400 civilians.

U.S. authorities have offered little public information about the drone strikes but say they are carefully planned to avoid civilian casualties and have killed key al-Qaida operatives.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid