Pakistan Ambassador: US Drone Strikes Are A 'Red Line'
Shehrbano "Sherry" Rehman, Pakistan's ambassador to Washington, said Tuesday that the continuing use of covert and illegal drone strikes in her country is a "red line," adding that Pakistan is threatening to withhold further cooperation with the United States on counter-terrorism operations until they cease.
Rehman told reporters that Pakistan "wants to continue to cooperate with the US on counter-terrorism operations." But, she said, the US's armed drone program is an obstacle to their complete cooperation. "The drones are the red line here," she said.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that since 2004 there have been 362 recorded drone strikes in Pakistan, reportedly killing up to 890 civilians including 176 children.
Reporting on her statement, Huffington Post writes:
Rehman repeated the objections to the drone strikes frequently voiced by Pakistani officials and critics around the world: that they create deep resentment on the ground in Pakistan and elsewhere; that they radicalize people who had tried to stand against terrorists; that the al Qaeda leadership is decimated anyway; and that in the long term it harms U.S. and Pakistan efforts against terrorists.
"We don't see drones as productive at all," she said.