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imageUNITED NATIONS: Pakistan UN Ambassador Masood Khan said on Friday that US drone strikes on Pakistani territory not only violate the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also international law.

"The government of Pakistan has not given its formal consent to the use of armed drones," he told Radio Free Europe after the the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on States, using drone strikes as a counter-terrorism measure, to comply with international law.

"Whenever there are drone strikes, civilian casualties take place and all the population which is hit by the drones, lives in a state of constant fear," the Pakistani envoy said, while responding to questions. "We have seen and we can substantiate that these drones are counterproductive," he added. "They foment anger and sentiments against the United States and the government of Pakistan and they do violate international law."

Under the terms of the resolution, the 193-member Assembly underscored the "urgent and imperative" need for an agreement among member states on legal questions about drone operations.

Replying to a question, Masood Khan refuted allegation that Pakistan has not succeeded in neutralizing the threat of terrorism in many parts of the country. "We have also helped the United States and Afghanistan and the entire international community in fighting terrorists, and this is a success in that regard," the Pakistani envoy said.

"It is sad that the threat of terrorism has not been eliminated. That threat is still there -- for us, for Afghanistan, for the United States, for the international community -- and therefore we need to continue to collaborate with one another. We need to combine our forces to eliminate this threat. Yes, the United States has used different methodology to neutralize terrorism. We also have used military means but we also believe that we should simultaneously [engage in] dialogues and development."

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

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