Pakistani President Says Drone Attacks Are Assassinations
June 14, 2012 • 8:01AM

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari reminded the visiting U.S. Congressional delegation, led by Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), on June 13, of his nation's great dismay with persisting U.S. assassination drone attacks in Pakistan, describing the strikes as counterproductive. Earlier yesterday, yet another drone attack on a militant vehicle in northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border killed three insurgents, a U.S. security official told the AFP.

The Obama administration has intensified its killing operation in Pakistan, using drones almost daily. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently said that the drone attacks will continue. However, U.S. military drone attacks in Pakistan raise serious legal questions, the UN's human rights chief Navi Pillay has said, following her recently concluded fact-finding visit to Pakistan. "Drone attacks do raise serious questions about compliance with international law, in particular the principle of distinction and proportionality," Ms Pillay said.

The incessant drone attacks and the killing of at least 24 Pakistani soldiers by the U.S./NATO troops last November have since closed the supply lines that pass through Pakistan and provide at least 75 percent of essentials used by the 150,000 foreign troops fighting the insurgents in Afghanistan. The Pakistani quid pro quo and the unending killing of Pakistanis by drone attacks has virtually broken U.S.-Pakistan relations.

On June 10, U.S. Assistant Secretary, DoD, Peter Lavoy had gone to Islamabad to re-open talks. He spent three days in Pakistan's capital meeting with virtually no one and came back to Washington empty-handed. His repeated efforts to meet Pakistans Chief of Armed Services, Gen. Ashfaq Pervex Kayani, were denied. Kayani's office had been quite generous in the past in accommodating visiting dignitaries, especially Americans.