Pakistan says it has decided to take the issue of US assassination drone strikes on its territory to the United Nations.“Pakistan has started preparations to raise the issue of drone attacks at the United Nations,” Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Thursday, adding that “The US drone strikes are counterproductive against the forces of terrorism and extremism.” The statement also noted that the international community has backed Pakistan's stance regarding the CIA-operated drones which killed thousands of civilians in recent years. The Islamabad government has repeatedly protested against US drone strikes, saying they violate Pakistan's sovereignty. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently blasted the aerial assaults in his country, describing them as a violation of the international law and the United Nations Charter. Washington claims its drone strikes target militants, although casualty figures show that Pakistani civilians are often the victims of the non-UN-sanctioned attacks. The United States often uses its assassination drones to hit targets in Pakistan and some other countries including Yemen and Afghanistan. In May, US President Barack Obama defended the use of the controversial drones as “self-defense.” The airstrikes, initiated under former US President George W. Bush, have been escalated under the Obama administration. The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes in Pakistan pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law. Philip Alston, UN special envoy on extrajudicial killings, said in a report in late October 2010 that the attacks were undermining the rules designed to protect the right of life. Alston went on to say that he fears the drone killings by the US Central Intelligence Agency could develop a "Playstation" mentality.