The speech by the President of US, Barack Obama has been praised by a lawyer leading UN inquiry regarding drones and said that it is a very important measure towards increase of transparency.According to Ben Emmerson, Mr Obama had clearly set out legal justifications of targeted killing. The strikes’ main focus is Pakistan and the country has stated again its view regarding drones that they are counter-productive.It’s been pledged by Mr Obama that the strikes will be continued but with much strict targeting rules and tight oversight of program.
A UN special rapporteur of human rights, Mr Emmerson, started off an inquiry on drones this January, saying that their use shows real challenge towards framework of the international law.The Drone strikes Since 2009, 4 US citizens have been killed.Investigative Journalism’s Bureau has recorded the number of drone strikes to be 368 since 2004, in.Pakistan and about 45-56 confirmed ones since 2002 in Yemen. The majority of attacks have been done under Obama
This inquiry tends to be examining twenty-five attacks in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Palestinian territories.
In a statement he gave, he said that the speech by Mr Obama broke new ground concerning many issues.
He said that publication of procedural guidelines, that are for using force in the operations of counter-terrorism, is an important step towards accountability and transparency at a greater level.The foreign ministry of Pakistan said that it appreciated Mr Obama’s acknowledgment that only force couldn’t make everyone safe and also welcomed his determination to rebuild the ties between nations.Over the couple of years, Pakistan had complex relation with this drones programme. Stand by Pakistan from a covert support of the drones before has shifted to ostensible defiance. The shift did coincide with the increase in strikes and increased claims of casualties of civilians.
But this new strategy of counter-terrorism by President Obama comes during a period of apparent pause in Pakistan’s drone strikes, and only after 2 weeks of elections which have brought forth the parties in power which appeal to the anti-American sentiment within the country.The foreign office of Pakistan has cautiously reacted to the speech by Mr Obama, avoiding any comment on the broader message he gave that while there might be some new rules regarding drone strikes, still they’re part of just war, so they would be continued in the areas where local authorities would not or could not deal with the threat.
What this suggests is that while new elected Pakistani government, with Nawaz Sharif to be the Prime Minister, might continue to refer to the drone strikes as counterproductive, illegal and violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan, it might not have determination to have them stopped. Rather, if it could, it’s likely to seek some role for its own self in establishing the targets and frequency of such strikes.
But ministry added that Pakistan government has maintained consistently that these drone strikes tend to be counter-productive, have humanitarian and human rights implications, violates national sovereignty principles and entail the loss of civilian lives.One senior official in Pakistan Muslim League, the political party under leadership of Nawaz Sharif, told that the party happens to be disappointed that Mr Obama has given no indication about consulting the government of Pakistan about continued drone attacks.According to him, the question regarding the bombings on Pakistani territory by Americans without any permission tends to be the biggest issue of foreign policy facing new administration that’s preparing to take the reins of country after being elected recently.
This issue is much controversial in the country of Pakistan where some military and government parts are normally accused of condoning and ignoring some drone strikes.
Many estimates show that in Pakistan, these US strikes hit their peak in the year 2010 during which over 100 drone attacks occurred.During last year, this number was considered to be less than 50.After making a trip in March to Pakistan, Mr Emmerson said that Pakistan didn’t consent to drone attacks by US in its own territory and that Pakistan considers this as violation of it territorial integrity and sovereignty.
However, it is said that US cannot launch the drone strikes without Pakistan’s tacit support.
His latest policy was spelled out by Obama regarding the drones being part of some speech at a wider level on counter-terrorism.It is wished that Mr Obama would have pledged some accounting for civilian deaths due to drone strikes as well as some kind of reparations.On this matter, Mr Obama further says that America doesn’t attack to punish any individuals but against the terrorists who are imminent and continuing threat for American people. He went on to say that these strikes were only permissible when other governments are not capable of addressing these threats effectively and that there is near certainty about non-killing of civilians.
The speech he gave coincided with signing of latest guidance on presidential policy towards the drone strikes.
This document restricts circumstances under which the drone strikes are to e done in places which are not some overt zones of war, like Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. In the foreign countries, use of the unmanned drones has been quite overwhelmingly backed during the opinion polls in US. However, same polls show only few are in favour of drones in the US territory.