News / Asia

Pakistan Reiterates Opposition to US Drone Strikes

FILE- Unmanned Predator B drone, taken November 8, 2011.
FILE- Unmanned Predator B drone, taken November 8, 2011.
VOA News
Pakistan has reiterated its opposition to U.S. drone strikes on its territory, after U.S. President Barack Obama justified "constrained" drone usage to save lives.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Friday that drone strikes are counter-productive, kill innocent civilians, have human rights implications, and violate national sovereignty and international law.

Pakistan said, however, it welcomes Obama's acknowledgement that "force alone cannot make us safe."

In a major speech Thursday on U.S. counter-terrorism policy, Obama said the U.S. military prefers to detain, interrogate and process terrorists, instead of using drones.  He justified drone strikes, a secretive and rarely talked about military tactic, as "narrowly targeting" al-Qaida and its affiliates.

President Obama said U.S. military action in foreign lands impacts public opinion overseas and risks creating more enemies.  But he said the U.S. cannot let terrorists create footholds where they can plan and carry out deadly attacks.

President Obama's speech Thursday came hours after the U.S. said overseas drone attacks have killed four Americans.  U.S. officials said one of the four Americans left the U.S. for Pakistan intent on engaging in terrorism against the United States.

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