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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid