Pakistan Unhappy Over Reports US Drone Strikes Will Continue

US Seen Planning to 'Exempt' Pakistan From New Rules on Killings

by Jason Ditz, January 22, 2013

Reports floating around over the past few days that the US is planning to explicitly exempt Pakistan from their new, actual rules about when they can assassinate somebody overseas has hit the floor of the Pakistani Senate, and they’re not happy.

Key Senators lashed Obama, saying this sort of perpetual warfare is the exact opposite of what he talked about in his inauguration speech, and that it sets the stage for a serious worsening of US-Pakistani ties. Pakistan has formally objected to US drone strikes in the past, but US officials have said the complaints weren’t in the proper channels, and therefore they assume Pakistan is still willing to accept them.

Foreign Minister Hina Khar addressed the Senate, saying that the government continues to be of the opinion that drone strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as well as international law, and that she intends to “take up the issue” with US officials again.

Yet such promises aren’t new, and so far the Pakistani government seems unable to do anything about the US attacks. With early elections now looming and the drone strikes hugely unpopular, it is likely that many opposition parties will run on the issue of being more proactive in stopping US attacks than the ruling PPP, seen as a US ally, has been.

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