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PTI wants use of force to end drone attacks


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—File Photo.
—File Photo.

ISLAMABAD: The first parliamentary clash between the ruling PML-N and the opposition PTI will likely be over a resolution submitted to the National Assembly Secretariat by the latter on Monday, calling upon the government to use military force, if needed, to halt drone strikes in the tribal areas.

Terming the resolution submitted by Dr Shireen Mazari of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf a “premature” move, a PML-N member of the federal cabinet categorically said it could not be passed in its present form and the opposition party would have to amend it with mutual consent for the purpose.

“We also want to stop drone attacks, but not through the use of military force because it can have serious and dangerous consequences,” Minister of State Khurram Dastagir Khan said.

He said such a decision could affect the country’s defence relationship with then US which was providing assistance to Pakistan in the sector.

He said the country was getting very little US assistance for civilian purposes.

“The use of military force could be an option, but only after exhausting all diplomatic means.”

The government, Mr Dastagir added, had already lodged a protest with the US over a recent drone strike. Saying that drone strikes were unjustified, the minister said the focus of the PTI’s foreign policy was mainly on drone strikes whereas the PML-N considered it a “small part” in the Pakistan-US relationship.

He said all parties considered drone attacks to be a violation of the country’s sovereignty, but the PML-N and the PTI had differences over the “framework of analysis” on the issue.

The parliamentary party of the PTI in its meeting held at the Parliament House just before the address of President Asif Ali Zardari to a joint sitting of both houses endorsed the resolution submitted by Ms Mazari. The meeting was presided over by PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Through the detailed resolution, the PTI has called upon the government to “immediately take steps” and ask the US to end its drone strikes and “take diplomatic and, if need be, military measures to respond firmly to any such attack”.

It reminds the government of its obligations in the light of a judgment by the Peshawar High Court in April.

“This resolution demands the government to protect the sovereignty of Pakistan, the international law and enforce the judgment of the Peshawar High Court as soon as possible,” it says.

Quoting excerpts from the judgment, the resolution says that the court had declared that Article 199 of the constitution “put this court under tremendous obligation to safeguard and protect the life and property of the citizens of Pakistan and any person for the time being in Pakistan, being fundamental rights”.

The court, it says, declared “that the drone strikes, carried out in the tribal areas (Fata), particularly North and South Waziristan, by the CIA and US authorities, are blatant violation of basic human rights and are against the UN Charter, the UN General Assembly resolution adopted unanimously, the provisions of Geneva Conventions. Thus it is held to be a war crime, cognisable by the International Court of Justice or Special Tribunal for War Crimes, constituted or to be constituted by the UNO for this purpose”.

It says the court also declared “that the drone strikes carried out against a handful of alleged militants who are not engaged in combat with the US authorities or forces amounts to breach of international law and conventions on the subject matter. Therefore, it is held that these are absolutely illegal and blatant violation of the sovereignty of the state of Pakistan because frequent intrusion is made on its territory/airspace without its consent rather against its wishes as despite the protests lodged by the government of Pakistan with the US on the subject matter, these are being carried out with impunity.”

The judgment says that “the US government is bound to compensate all the victims’ families at the assessed rate of compensation in US dollars”.

Ms Mazari says in her resolution: “For nine years, the US has rained drones over Pakistani territory, killing innocent Pakistani citizens in far greater numbers than militants. Today we, the newly-elected representatives of the people of Pakistan in the National Assembly, express deep distress over the deaths of more than 3,000 Pakistani civilians due to drone strikes since their initiation in 2004.”

The resolution terms the attacks not only in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, but against the UN Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Geneva Conventions (1949) since “drones do not even provide the chance for suspects to surrender and any persons having characteristics of a militant are targeted by signature strikes without confirming the identity of the suspect. Further, many drone strikes have targeted rescue workers that come to the site of a drone attack”.

Comments (57) Closed

malole Jun 11, 2013 09:22am

I fail to understand the sympathy of PTI for terrorists. We have yet to see an innocent who has died in these drones. Why don't they go to North Wazirastan and offer fatiha and namazi janaza for these 'innocents' who die in these drone attacks?

NASAH (USA) Jun 11, 2013 09:41am

It is not the Drones that are threat to Pakistan's sovereignty -- it is the immature recklessness of the PTI leader that is a threat to Pakistan' national interest.

We are glad Imran Khan is not the chief minister of KPK -- and Nawaz Sharif is the prime minister of Pakistan.

NASAH (USA) Jun 11, 2013 09:45am

I hope it is not a clumsy attempt by Imran Khan to embarrass PML(N) and Nawaz Sharif.

Irtiza Jun 11, 2013 09:49am

Much as I hate to admit it, Ms Mazari's resolution is indeed myopic. There needs to be a gradual escalation in the language and actions mentioned in the resolution. The first step shouldn't be to shoot down but to engage in a time-bound dialogue with the US to stop drone strikes, or at least to have an agreement so that the strikes are not unilateral. When everything breaks down, then the option of shooting down can be evaluated.

Sultan Khan Jun 11, 2013 10:03am

PML(N) has always "respected" judiciary except in a few cases like attack on supreme court and putting pressure on Justice Qayyuum to get a favourable decision. However, now its the time to show their loyalty towards the judiciary and they must act upon the verdict of Peshawer High court.

El Cid Jun 11, 2013 10:06am

Dr. Shireen Mazari is a mighty warrior for Islam, Muslims, and specially for Pakistan. She is the strong right arm of the Great Khan. If only Pakistani men were half as good, wise, astute, resolute, intelligent and strong as her.

Dr. Mazari can match the best of the best and go head to head with whatever the US can offer. I would have loved to see Secretary Clinton in the same room with her. Top Gun against Top Gun.

I would bet on Mazari, not that Clinton is a pushover. It would be two powerful minds and personalities go toe to toe. It would be touch and go. Like two lionesses out for blood, ever so!

Khan Jun 11, 2013 10:37am

Now for next five years PTI will fool masses that they wanted to shoot down drone but PML N didn't have the spine to do it. If you lend a part of country to terrorists and jihadis and that area is used to launch attack on other country and your army is not able to enter the area and reluctant to clear the area then Drones attack will happen. Why don't PTI send Insaafians to clear the area from terrorist?

jaffri Jun 11, 2013 10:37am

Why any of political parties is not demanding abolition of FATA status and merging these areas into regular provinces of Pakistan? This action will give many legal and political rights to the inhabitants of these areas and will strenghthen Pakistan's position in any international court of law if the matter goes there

Adil Haider Jun 11, 2013 11:19am

Why cant Pakistani engineers hijack a few American drones just like the Iranians have done on a number of occasions.

It calls for a little bit of technology transfer between two brother Muslim countries.

SH Jun 11, 2013 12:02pm

It is expected, as in the past, the day this resolution is opened for discussion in NA, there would be another drone attack. It would be response like "on one hand you take money for such attacks and on other hand use such language against us ". Here goes antoher one !

Liaqat Yousufzai Jun 11, 2013 01:05pm

In the history of nations, there comes a time when you need to make hard decisions. Mr. Sharif! Government job is not to only to do businesses and make money but also to provide security to its citizens.
Secondly, if the Government raise the issue of drone attacks at international level, believe me people around the world will respect you. Now at the current scenario, they make fun of you.

akram Jun 11, 2013 01:20pm

how accurate are Shireen Mazaris figures? They very fact that the militants are the most anxious for the end to drone attacks implies they have been somewhat accurate.

the reality is we don't actually know, the militants only ever show the 'innocents', on camera. never the guilty.

Tahir Alam Jun 11, 2013 02:01pm

Drone strikes should be stopped immediately and the problem of militancy should be dealt with by Pakistani security agencies and the political leaders. As after 2014 it will still be left to Pakistan to deal with this problem then it is better for the new government to take some steps before it is too late and things become uncontrollable for them next year.

farhan Jun 11, 2013 02:37pm

Immature Nonsense!

Mira Jun 11, 2013 02:45pm

ahmed j Jun 11, 2013 02:57pm

We have to see from our past. The ones who fought the invaders and the British rule will fight the drones with force. The ones who accepted to be a British subject and other invaders will still take a passive approach.
It is all in the blood. Take your approach accordingly.

Waqas Ahmad Jun 11, 2013 03:24pm

@NASAH (USA): We are facing a cultural disaster and are on a verge of obliteration. Have you ever seen a nation debating the topic that whether we should stop foreign attacks on our soil or not? This is happening only in our country... If PML(N) cannot protect our sovereignty then they should feel more then just embarrassment.

sarim hamza Jun 11, 2013 03:37pm

@NASAH (USA): what else it could be !!

FactCheck Jun 11, 2013 03:46pm

Good move. Pick a fight with the US. Of Course Dr Shireen Mazari, always thought you had some screws loose. Now you proved it.

Faiza Jun 11, 2013 03:52pm

Khan has to learn a lot. This is not how one resolves a serious issue. Hopefully PML does not fall for this irrational and emotional outbursts by Imran Khan. It will make head lines for him after all he needs to cool his EGO.

Salman Khan Jun 11, 2013 03:53pm

bikram singh Jun 11, 2013 03:57pm

immaturity on part of imran khan

Moeen H Jun 11, 2013 04:21pm

@NASAH (USA): Instead of shooting comments from the US, come and spend sometime in the 'drone' valleys.

Satyameva Jayate Jun 11, 2013 04:24pm

To do that IK needs to create its own military - the one that can shoot really high, the cricket balls.

Ajay Jun 11, 2013 04:31pm

@NASAH (USA): this is purely to embarrass Nawaz coz he knows applying force at not at all an option

muzammil ullah khan Jun 11, 2013 04:34pm

We have another " Sultan Rahi " in Imran Khan . His party is talking hogwash . This guy wants to take on the might of USA who can destroy you militarily and economically in less than an hour! Beggar nation that we are , who survive with aid by various countries and frequent bail outs , we wish to go into direct military confrontation with USA !! Imran is going crazier by the day . He reminds me of the " MAD " magazine motto , ' What me worry " . He and his party should now act responsibly and stop making stupid statements . Thank God he lost the election and thank God he won in KPK where he is going to mess up royally and write his political obituary .

bubba Jun 11, 2013 04:36pm

If IK was PM I doubt he would be promoting a shooting war with the USA - a country which could ruin Pakistan's economy with a few phone calls. I also doubt the military would start a shooting war regardless of who is PM - why would they want to risk their high tech fighter planes to protect the Taliban?

Safdar Jun 11, 2013 04:40pm

It is impractical for PTI to do such a thing. I think what the federal governemnt can do is to take the matter to UN. Pak Army cannot shot these things down as it will be then a declared war on U.S.which can only result in destruction of Pakistan in the form of US sanctions and loss of physical infrastructure etc. Pakistan should first make it self economically viable, distance itself away from the US-backed multi lateral agencies and make full diplomatic efforts against drones in the UN and also within US by lobbying etc.

Tausif Khan Jun 11, 2013 04:46pm

Use of force? What a joke. Pakistan cannot fire at a single Drone, trust me. Drone symbolizes the US military machine and until Pakistan is really in a position to withstand the US Army's all out strike, it will never do so. Moreover, Pakistan shares intelligence with the US and gets dollars for its role. It is housed to one of the most notorious mercenary armies of the world. But, if Pakistan really wants to check its own military might, it can hit at some Indian fighter jets, which usually cross over to the Pakistan airspace (as it happened again today) to see if it can even match the Indian might let alone that of the US. A country where an F.A. level military general stays in power for a decade does not have the moral courage to stand up against any outsider...and that too of the caliber of the US or India ...because the civilian governments have to clean the mess after the generals instead of flexing the country's weak muscles....It is high time to end the Army's control of Pakistan's foreign policy....

asif Jun 11, 2013 05:21pm

easy for imran to talk when he is in the opposition.

Latif Khan Jun 11, 2013 05:32pm

Imran Khan

Latif Khan Jun 11, 2013 05:45pm

Imran Khan

Aslam Jun 11, 2013 06:06pm

How about a resolution that bans talibans from using Pakistani soil for their purpose?

iqbal Khan Jun 11, 2013 06:22pm

Imran khan is out of his mind.Just wondering why he has this soft corner for terrorits?

fatuma Jun 11, 2013 06:30pm

what a joke,Mr. Imran had to raise fund from US for his election campaign, now he wants to take on US military !!

anony Jun 11, 2013 06:50pm

Drones will keep raining and there is nothing anyone can do about it. If it could have been stopped, it would have been stopped 9 years ago. Such 2-faced politicians we have.

Zoy Jun 11, 2013 06:56pm

Whatever the attempt is, we cant judge and should not judge until it's proved.

Agha Ata Jun 11, 2013 07:11pm

Newly elected government should stop killing of Pakistani civilians by Taliban first. If the government wants to help Taliban, by forcing the USA to stop drone attacks, they have a right to ask Taliban to stop killing our own people immediately.

sherafgan Jun 11, 2013 07:31pm

And what about the innocent Pakistanis who die in the terrorist acts of the TTP. What about their human rights? I don't agree with the methodology of drone strikes, but was it possible by any means for Pakistan to take out No 2 of TTP?

m. a Jun 11, 2013 07:36pm

PTI is absolutely right. After all we are not slaves of any any power.

naghman qureshi Jun 11, 2013 07:56pm

they should also consider using force to stop suicide bombing that has killed 20 times more law abiding innocent citizens of pakistan.when will they talk about them

ahmed Jun 11, 2013 08:05pm

Why doenst PTI do what it was elected to do and form a government in KP instead of harping about drones? As for drones: Drones kill militants. Militants kill innocent people. By all logic, therefore, drones are saving the lives of innocent Pakistanis, not killing them as Imran Khan has been claiming. By not permitting Pakistan to fight back properly (and yes, with the help of drones where needed), Imran Khan has permitted militants to continue their dirty business of suicide bombings and attacks on Pakistani soldiers, police and civilians. I should add that If Imran Khan is sincere about his claims, why doesnt he go to the site of the last drone attack? The fact is that even the taliban dont care for his hypocritical attempts at portraying himself as their savior and last time he tried to play that game they told him they would kill him if he stepped into Waziristan. How many people will this man continue to fool with his loose talk on matters of life and death?

Modi Jun 11, 2013 09:25pm

How about first re-establishing the country's sovereignty by arresting and deporting the hundreds or thousands of foreign nationals present in FATA and other parts of the country without a legal visa? You can't pick and choose sovereignty issues, taking a strong stand against drone attacks and then keeping a blind eye or even encouraging foreign terrorists and talibans to flout your sovereignty. At least NATO and the US is doing Pakistan a favour by taking out terrorists with drones, an act which the Pakistan Army and the Govr. should have done. Fighting terrorism is like going to war, and in a war civilian casualties are an unfortunate but normal and expected outcome. So, stop whining about sovereignty and let the drones do the job which Pakistanis donot have the guts to do themselves.

Israr Jun 11, 2013 09:59pm

@NASAH (USA): INDEED !! sitting in america you can say that, think same thing happening in america could disturb people out there they are saying we are allies & they dont have comon mind for this act about imran he cleared he can finished militancy in his own way becase drones are only counter productive !! America has to respect soverign country if not Pakistan has legal right to act with what ever in his hand But u guys are lucky Mr.sharif sitting on chair not IMRAN a brave person who can take this decision As a Paki am not thinking America is very good friend of Pak history is full of proof !!!!!!

Israr Khan IsmailZai. Jun 11, 2013 10:40pm

An increasing sense among the pakhtoons especially the ones in tribal areas is that their govt just does not care about them. I think drones have to be stopped, because a drone attack in Lahore or Karachi probably will get a very different reaction than the ones in FATA. The govt of Pakistan must do everything including shooting down the drones if they have to, otherwise this increasing sense of frustration might lead to the same consequences that created Bangladesh. Jun 12, 2013 12:21am

PTI will now only pass the buck to PML(N), for everything either they will blame PML(N), MQM or JUI. NATO supply trucks go through KPK. Pervez Khatak by force should stop these trucks as this thing is in their hands so they can not pass this to PML(N). I demand from PTI to stop all supplies to allied forces from KPK. Once supplies are stopped allied wont be able to launch drone attacks or continue the war

uswan Jun 12, 2013 01:44am

Why can Pakistan not knock on International Court?

NASAH (USA) Jun 12, 2013 06:30am

Everybody is waiting for the LAST drone attack that FELLS the wild rogue Hakeemullah -- and then and then only Nawaz Sharif can negotiate with the Taliban from the position of strength -- and pact will stick.

Not before.

El Cid Jun 12, 2013 06:52am

@Latif Khan:

Khalid Butt Jun 12, 2013 07:26am

I thank God, insane Imran is not the PM of Pakistan and Mazari is not our defence minister, otherwise we Would not be on the map of the world within next one year. Recless people like Imran and Mazari should be kept away from politics. I do think we should take up the matter with the UN and ICJ, but before that we must tell the people of Pakistan what is the truth about drones.

Khalid Butt Jun 12, 2013 07:34am

Imran stop the trucks of the US army in PK, you are the boss there. Show some courage or are you only good at shouting to stop drones. Show your spine. I thank God you are not in a drivers seat, otherwise you would have wrecked our nations bus. Your advisors like Mazari is an idiot, she left you and again came back, she is a fickle minded person. You would be better without her. Be rational you may not like NS but your JH still say that he is his leader.

Hassan Jun 12, 2013 08:06am

@Aslam: You are absolutely right brother, the reason these Americans are coming to Pakistan using drone attacks is mainly because we have many Talibans in our country and they are creating all sorts of problems for our country... we need to kick these guys first...

Truth n Justice Jun 12, 2013 10:24am

How many warnings shuld Pakistan give before US stops its illegal drone strikes? There is no point to debate on. People who hav second views regarding extrajudicial killings by drones shuld understand that they r the lucky ones who r not living under constant threat of drones n sudden death from a missile.

PTI is doing the right thing by pushing this so called democratic Gov to stop these illegal drone strikes. There shuld not be any debate on whether to let any 1 come inside our territory n kill our innocent citizens n then leave. This is wrong.

Drones shuld be shoot down immediately if they dont stop after the final warning. Plus, we need to fix our economy n stop taking any aid from the US n the IMF. This is because beggars r not choosers n Pakistan needs to stop beggin for money n stand on its own feet.

Pakistan needs to protect every citizen n it is the duty of the Government. We all knw the hidden conspiracies of tryin to break Pakistan by shiftin the civil war from Afghanistan into Pakistan to carve a new country on Norther Pakistan to break access to China n also breaking Balochistan to stop Iran Pakistan China pipeline if plan A doesnt work. We r not stupid...So we must act immediately to stop this n kick out all their agents outa the country or imprison them...Justice must be done...INSHALLAH, Pakistan is here to stay till the end of times...

Pakistan Zindabad..

shakeel ahmed Jun 12, 2013 11:00am

I would like to appreciate to Ms. Mazari has submitted the resulation against the drone strike, we all nation with the PTI and support to Imran Khan and his loyal member of Parliament.

The drone strike will be accepted, international community come forward and join hand with us against US drone strike where innocent people and other specially Child and women die and hurt.

shakeel ahmed Jun 12, 2013 11:02am

@Mira: i will support your comments.

El Cid Jun 13, 2013 12:55am

@Khalid Butt:

You misconstrue, misrepresent, misjudge. KPK is NOT Pakistan. The US is attacking Pakistan [and Islam]. A covert and borderline overt operation is going on. It is a Pakistan problem. It is an Islamabad decision, not in PTI's domain. Dr. Mazari obviously can contribute meaningfully to this decision.

For you to call Dr. Mazari, perhaps one of the most astute strategic thinkers in Pakistan, an idiot defines you, not her.

El Cid Jun 13, 2013 01:19am


Tell that to the people being terrorized by drones. Tell that to the maimed, burnt, blinded by them. Tell that to the little ones in shallow graves...and counting.