UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan told a UN panel that there was no justification for US drone strikes on its soil as Pakistani Armed Forces were engaged in an an anti-terrorist operations "with full vigour".
Speaking in the General Assembly's Third Committee on Monday, Ambassador Masood Khan said that drone strikes were counterproductive in combating terrorism, and called for an immediate end to such attacks on its soil to avert more civilian deaths and injuries.
The Committee -- which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues -- is currently discussing the annual report of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. "The use of armed drones against Pakistan's tribal territory violates international law by infringing our sovereignty and territorial integrity," the Pakistani envoy said.
"Moreover, there is no justification for these strikes because Pakistan is pursuing with full vigour the Zarb-i-Azb operation to take out terrorists and dismantle their networks," he added. Masood Khan said civilian casualties resulting from drone-strikes incite public sentiment and radicalise more people and were,  therefore, counterproductive.
"Armed drone strikes have a devastating impact on individuals, children, families and communities in regard to safety, education, religious and cultural practices," he said, referring to the resolutions passed by the Security Council that raised concerns about of the use of armed drones leading to violation of international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law. "The fear of secondary or fresh strikes keeps them traumatised."
He urged the Human Rights Council to coordinate with other human rights bodies to protect civilians who were under attack from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS).
In this regard, he said that the decision to dispatch a fact-finding mission was an important step in the right direction.
The Pakistani envoy stressed that the Council ensure its decisions were implemented faithfully and non-selectively.
"In this context, it is important that the Human Rights Council follows through its decisions to protect the rights of Palestinian in the Gaza Strip and other Occupied Palestinian Territories; and  the Commission of Enquiry established to investigate human rights violations during the invasion of Gaza is enabled to complete its work."