Russia slams US drone strikes in Pakistan
“It is not right to violate the
sovereignty and integrity of any state. We fully support Pakistan’s
stance,” Dawn quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying at
a joint news conference with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani
Lavrov arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin's plan to travel to Islamabad was cancelled.
Rabbani Khar, for her part, stressed that US terror drone attacks are not only “counterproductive, “but also “illegal” and “unlawful.”
Pakistani tribal regions are the target
of US terror drones, with Washington claiming that its unmanned
aircraft are targeting militants. However, casualty figures indicate
that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the assaults.
The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in
the strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington,
prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration
over the assaults.
Despite Pakistani government’s repeated calls on Washington to end the
drone attacks, the US government continues its strikes on the tribal
regions of the country.
Addressing the 67th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari also said that US assassination drone strikes were counterproductive and asked Washington to end the strikes on the country’s tribal areas.
The aerial attacks were initiated by former US President George W. Bush, but have escalated under President Barack Obama.
The drone strikes have triggered massive anti-US demonstrations across Pakistan to condemn the United States violation of their national sovereignty.