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UN Chief Urges International Regulations For Drones

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the inauguration ceremony for the Center for International Peace and Stability in Islamabad.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said drone attacks must be regulated by international law.

Ban, speaking at a university in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, said every effort should be made to avoid mistakes and civilian casualties.

"The use of armed drones, like any other weapon, should be subject to long-standing international law, including international humanitarian law," he said.

Pakistan has been lobbying for support to end U.S. drone strikes in its tribal region along the Afghan border.

Washington views the strikes as an important means to fight Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, but Islamabad condemns them as a violation of its sovereignty and international law.

The UN secretary-general, who arrived on August 13 in Pakistan on a two-day visit, inaugurated a new building at the National University of Science and Technology that will house the Center for International Peace and Stability.

The UN chief lauded in his address the contribution of more than 8,000 Pakistani UN peacekeepers in various parts of the world.

"Your country's long history [with UN peacekeeping forces] began more than half a century ago when the first Pakistan troops deployed in faraway Congo, Africa," he said. "Year in and year out, Pakistan has remained one of the largest contributors."

Ban will also hold talks with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and will be the guest of honor on August 14 at the annual Independence Day celebrations to mark the founding of Pakistan in 1947.

Ban's visit comes amid escalating tensions between Pakistan and India, who have blamed each other for several shooting and shelling incidents across the Line of Control, the UN-monitored boundary that divides the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

The Indian Army accused Pakistan on August 13 of firing across the boundary in Kashmir overnight. No casualties were reported. Tensions flared on August 6 when five Indian soldiers were killed by gunmen.

With reporting by AFP and dpa
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