The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Jun 7 said the killing of civilians by the US assassination drones in Pakistan is illegal and in violation of human rights.
A former top terrorism official at the CIA has also warned that President Barack Obama’s drone programme is far too indiscriminate in hitting targets and could lead to such political instability that it creates terrorist safe havens. Obama’s increased use of drones to attack suspected Islamic militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen has become one of the most controversial aspects of his national security policy. He has launched at least 275 strikes in Pakistan alone; a rate of attack that is far higher than his predecessor George W Bush. Defenders of the policy say it provides a way of hitting high-profile targets, such as al-Qaida number two, Abu Yahya al-Libi. But critics say the definition of militant is used far too broadly and there are too many civilian casualties. The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates up to 830 civilians, including many women and children, might have been killed by drone attacks in Pakistan, 138 in Yemen and 57 in Somalia. Hundreds more have been injured.