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Stopping drone attacks

June 06, 2013

JOHN Kerry’s statement that drone strikes are legal over tribal areas of Pakistan, as US Congress had authorised the use of force due to the Sept 11 incident, is inappropriate and out-of-place with the UN charter of sovereignty that prohibits UN member-states from attacking other member-states.

The recent strike was also contradicting President Barack Obama’s guideline of May 23 that drone strikes can only be used to prevent imminent attacks ensuring that innocent civilian would not be killed but he failed to ensure that sovereignty of a state would not be violated.

The debate about the legality and effectiveness of drones is in favour of stopping the strikes over a sovereign state even for targeting extremists.

Although the drone strike recently killed TTP’s Waliur Rehman, along with some civilians, the numerous previous attacks by drones in northwest Pakistan had killed more civilians than they killed the Taliban. It had been a cause for public concern and agitation. The number of civilians killed by drones will disprove the policy of precisely targeting the Taliban. It appears to be a planned mission to defame, destroy and desecrate Islam, as well as find an excuse to take control of Pakistan’s nuclear warheads.

In spite of strong opposition by the public, the Pakistan governments in the past had been on board, permitting US drone strikes and doing nothing to stop it except for the lip-service to condemn and protest for cooling down the public emotions.

The public had been exerting pressure on the government to take corrective measures even if they have to shoot down the drones if US continues the policy of hostility, disrespecting sovereignty of Pakistan.

I urge upon the new government to take firm stand and stop drone strikes at any cost and save innocent people, restoring public confidence and the country’s pride, honour and integrity.

MOHAMMAD ASHRAF Winnipeg, Canada