A senior United Nations human rights official says the killing of civilians in non-UN-sanctioned airstrikes by the US assassination drones in Pakistan is illegal and in violation of human rights.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay made the remarks on Thursday at the end of a four-day visit to Pakistan, where more than 150 people have died in twenty US drone attacks since the beginning of the year.
“Drone attacks do raise serious questions about compliance with international law,” she added.
The commissioner noted that in her opinion “the indiscriminate killings and injuries of civilians in any circumstances” was in violation of international norms of human rights.
Pillay also called for a UN investigation into civilian casualties, which she said were difficult to track.
“I suggested to the government that they invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Summary or Arbitrary Executions and he will be able to investigate some of the incidents,” she said.
Washington claims its drone strikes target militants, though casualty figures clearly indicate that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned attacks.
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry summoned the US Charge d’affaires Richard Hoagland over Washington’s continued drone attacks saying they violate Pakistan sovereignty.
However, the US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Washington would continue its drone attacks in the country despite complaints from Islamabad.