On Thursday the US State Department released its official report on human rights violation in Pakistan from 2015 to 2016; concluding that “the most serious human rights problems in Pakistan were extrajudicial and targeted killings [and] disappearances”. The words and recommendations of John Kerry – who published the report – ring hollow in the wake of the recently published and widely circulated article by Malik Jalal, who tells the harrowing story of the indiscriminate destruction caused by the United State’s drone programme when it tried to kill him.

Objectively, the report may be right in highlighting these issues, but receiving moral scolding by a government which had zealously followed a policy of “extrajudicial and targeted killings” in the shape of the drone campaign is strategically ineffective and principally hypocritical. The confidence with which the Secretary of State says that “this is a standard that we insist others meet and therefore we must meet this standard ourselves,” takes this episode into the surreal. Either the US government suffers from some form of collective amnesia or it has different standards for itself and the world.

Cut down to bare bones and stripped from the ‘national interest’ hyperbole, the drone campaign is a prime example of “extrajudicial and targeted killings”. Targets are picked in a control room miles from the action, and the person condemned to death on circumstantial evidences and informed suspicion – all without the person being able to defend himself in a court of law. ‘Extrajudicial’ and ‘targeted’ – the criteria is complete.

However the drone campaign goes much further. As Malik Jalal’s story shows, the drone handlers don’t really know what is happening on the ground; they make spur of the moment judgment calls to fire a missile or not, all based on sketchy intel, pressured by the risk of losing the opportunity. As a result the human collateral is massive – innocent families, relatives, children and unlucky bystanders, all fall victims to the aptly named Hellfire missiles. As indefensible as they are (for separate reasons), at least in fake police encounters the law enforcement knows who it is killing and kills only him – it doesn’t order a missile strike and hopes for the best.

The United States has used, and continues to use drone strikes to carry out a worldwide camping of extrajudicial targeted killings. It is not only hypocritical but also diplomatically unsound for the US to scold a country, which has been on the receiving end of this indiscriminate killing.