Pakistan’s National Assembly has unanimously approved a resolution condemning US drone strikes today, dubbing them a violation of the UN Charter and humanitarian norms, and demanding their immediate halt.
The resolution comes one day after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, visiting Pakistan, demanding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif immediately and forcibly halt public protests against the drone strikes, threatening to revoke $1.6 billion in annual aid if the demonstrations continue.
Drone strikes are overwhelmingly unpopular in Pakistan, and Sharif’s election came in no small part because he promised to end the US strikes. Sharif hasn’t ended the strikes, and that is leading other parties, like the Pakistani Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI), to accuse him of a secret deal supporting it.
Today’s resolution reflects that the opposition to the drones is virtually obligatory for Pakistani politicians, but it doesn’t mean the Pakistani government is going to make any policy changes toward ending them, and with billions in US aid on the line there’s little reason to expect Sharif to back off a planned crackdown on the protests.
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