Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Thursday called the drone strikes inside Pakistani terrority “illegal, unlawful and counterproductive”, saying they were among the reasons for the rise of anti-Americanism in Pakistan.
“Drones are a reason why the US is unpopular in Pakistan,” she said in statements carried by Pakistan Press Agency (PPA) in response to a question at Asia Society where she spoke to a packed-to-capacity audience on the foreign policy goals of the democratic government. “What the drones are trying to achieve, we may not disagree. We do not disagree. If they’re going for terrorists – we do not disagree,” the foreign minister said. “But we have to find ways which are lawful, which are legal.”
“The use of unilateral strikes on Pakistani territory is illegal,” she said. “It is illegal and it is unlawful.”
According to Khar, Pakistan’s government needs to build popular support for its own efforts to crush armed militant groups, but this is impossible as long as the war is viewed as US interference.
“As the drones fly over the territory of Pakistan, it becomes an American war and the whole logic of this being our fight, in our own interest, is immediately put aside and again it is a war imposed on us,” she said.