UN report criticises US' "license to kill" drone strikes against Pakistan

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, Jun.3 (ANI): A top United Nation (UN) official has criticised the Obama administration for continuing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated drone attacks in the semi-autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan, as it has resulted in countless civilian deaths.

While US officials have presented an impressive figure of over 500 terrorists being killed in missile hits and only 30 civilians in the past couple of years, UN's special rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions Phillip Alston argues that drone strikes amount to a "license to kill" without being held accountable, a license the U.S. would not want any other country to have.

Alston, in his report, said that by carrying out the drone attacks, Washington is just setting a bad example.

"The rules we're setting for ourselves now are the rules that we're also setting for others later," CBS quoted Alston, as saying.

There have been 137 missile strikes in the restive tribal region of Pakistan, said Peter Singer of the Brookings Institute, who noted that these attacks have been successful in eliminating scores of top extremists leaders.

"It allows us to carry out acts of war without having to go through some of the debates that we would have in the past. I think they've been very effective at killing a large number of very bad guys," Singer said.

Referring to Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomb plotter, Singer, however, warned that these missile attacks would have drastic effects on the US in the long term.

"The strikes have been very effective in creating a large amount of anger at the U.S. that may well bite us in the long term," he said.

While the Obama administration is yet to publicly accept the responsibility for the drone hits, the CIA maintains that the attacks carried out by the unmanned aircraft are infact overseen by the White House and Congress, and refuted reports that the agency lacked accountability.

"While we don't discuss or confirm specific activities, this agency's operations take place in a framework of both law and government oversight. It would be wrong to suggest the CIA is not accountable," CIA spokeswoman Paula Weiss had said. (ANI)

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