OIC, China supportive of Pakistan’s stance on drone strikes: Lodhi‏

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Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi on Sunday said the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) as well as China are supporting Pakistan’s stance on drone strikes in the UN.

Talking to a private news channel, the ambassador who had demanded immediate cessation of such strikes in the UN General Assembly on Saturday, said Pakistan has successfully gathered support over the issue, and OIC, China and a number of other countries agree over the point that the UN should take notice of the Human Rights Council’s (HRC) reports on the subject.

The HRC called on the international community to stop drone strikes as they are counterproductive and further fuel extremism and terrorism.

“We got the opportunity as the UN reviews its 2006 global counter terrorism strategy biannually and the review takes place through a resolution; it is in a way a norm-setting exercise and legal demands are also endorsed. My team and I based our stance over HRC’s reports on drones,” said Lodhi.

Regarding the White House’s report on civilian deaths in the US drone strikes, she said that regardless of statistics, the report is a confession that the US drone strikes have killed civilians.

“Pakistan has carried out the largest counterterrorism operation involving 180,000 of troops,” said Lodhi, while answering a question related to Pakistan’s demand.

She added that Pakistan will always cooperate and fulfil its international obligation with regard to reigning in terrorism.

Speaking in the UN General Assembly on Saturday, Lodhi demanded an immediate cessation of drone strikes in its territory at the United Nations, terming it a violation of “territorial integrity and sovereignty of states”.

Answering a question in Sunday’s interview, she said that she has also raised the issue in the UN Security Council earlier, especially over the May 21 drone strike which killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mansour in Balochistan province.