Pakistan on Friday opposed U.S. drone strikes hours after President Barack Obama defended the use of controversial drone mission as self-defence against the militants.
Addressing the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday President Obama defended the use of drones and said, “We are at war with an organisation that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first.”
Pakistan reiterated its opposition to the drone strikes in a Foreign Ministry statement issued in a formal reaction to President Obama’s remarks.
“The Government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that the drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives, have human rights and humanitarian implications and violate the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman however appreciates president Obama’s acknowledgement that “force alone cannot make us safer”.
“This also has been Pakistan’s longstanding stance that a comprehensive strategy was acquired to address the root causes that foster terrorism and extremism,” he said.
The spokesman said that as a frontline state in the fight against terrorism, Pakistani troops have borne the brunt and given the ultimate sacrifice for it. “We appreciate President Obama’s acknowledgement ad recognition of the sacrifices made by Pakistan particularly by our law Enforcement Authorities”.
He said Pakistan welcomes the resolve expressed by President Obama to continue efforts to rebuild the important bilateral relationship with Pakistan, which, “we believe should be based on the mutual respect and mutually of benefit.”