US drone strikes 'embarrass Pakistan'
03 August 2012
America's continuing drone strikes within Pakistan's tribal regions undermine, weaken and destabilise Pakistani democracy, the country's High Commissioner to the UK has said.
In an interview with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Wajid Shamsul Hasan said the strikes had "directly or indirectly" contributed to the destabilising of the Pakistani government.
People openly mocked the government, he said, knowing that any resolution against drones would not be implemented by the Americans, he said.
"Please don't embarrass us by violating our territory because people question why the hell we have such a huge standing army, where we spend so much on our national defence budget, when we can't defend ourselves," he said.
"We cannot take on the only superpower, which is all-powerful in the world at the moment," he said. "You can't take them on. We are a small country, we are ill-equipped."
Hasan added that anti-American sentiment was on the rise in Pakistan due to the "dangerously high levels" of drone strikes in the region, and that drones were a clear violation of "territorial sovereignty and national integrity".
"This is a violation of the UN Charter; these drone violations have been taking place since 2004. And the attacks have killed 2,500 to 3,000 people," he said.
"We're not opposed to eliminating these al-Qaida chaps. We were not opposed to eliminating Osama bin Laden, because he was declared an international terrorist"
"If I were there I would have killed him myself," he said.
With the US-led International Security Assistance Force set to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2014, Hasan insisted that Pakistan would continue the fight against al-Qaida.
His comments followed those of Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, who said the country would "seek an end to drone strikes and there will be no compromise on that".