Submitted by Dr Shireen M Mazari NA 296
On behalf of Tehreek-i-Insaf
10th June 2013
For nine years the US has rained drones over Pakistani territory killing innocent Pakistani citizens in far greater numbers than “militants”. The people’s elected representatives in the last NA passed unanimous resolutions condemning these attacks and demanding they be stopped. Today we, the newly elected representatives of the people of Pakistan in the National Assembly, express deep distress over the deaths of more than 3000 Pakistani civilians due to drone strikes since their initiation in 2004 and clearly recognise the following:
1 That drone attacks conducted earlier by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and now by the Pentagon, through direct missiles fired on Pakistani territory are in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. The UN Charter, Article 2(4), states: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”.
2 That US drone attacks violate the Geneva Conventions (1949). Drones do not even provide the chance for suspects to surrender, and any person 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.
3 That drone strikes violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 6 states that “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”
4 That the Convention of 9th December 1948 with regard to punishment of the crime of Genocide, imposing prohibition against genocide, defined by Article 1 of the Convention includes the following acts: a) “Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group; b) Killing members of the group; c) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; d) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; e) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; f) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
And calls on the Government of Pakistan to immediately take steps to halt all drone attacks, including:
1 – asking the US to end their drone strikes over Pakistani territory;
2 – taking diplomatic and, if need be, military measures to respond firmly to any such attack immediately.
3 – Furthermore, the National Assembly seeks to remind the Government of Pakistan of its obligations on the drones issue in view of the judgment of the Peshawar High Court of April 2013, on writ petition Writ Petition No. 1551-P/2012 in which the Court decided, inter alia:
“Under the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 particularly Article 199 thereof put this Court under tremendous obligation to safeguard & protect the life & property of the citizen of Pakistan and any person for the time being in Pakistan, being fundamental rights, hence,
this Court is constrained to hold as follows:
“ i. That the drone strikes, carried out in the tribal areas (FATA) particularly North & South
Waziristan by the CIA & US Authorities, are blatant violation of Basic Human Rights and are against the UN Charter, the UN General Assembly Resolution, adopted unanimously, the provision of Geneva Conventions thus, it is held to be a War Crime, cognizable by the International Court of Justice or Special Tribunal for War Crimes, constituted or to be constituted by the UNO for this purpose.
“ ii. 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 & 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 of the protests lodged by the Government of Pakistan with USA on the subject matter, these are being carried out with impunity.
“ iii. That the civilians casualties, as discussed above, including considerable damage to properties, livestock, wildlife & killing of infants/ suckling babies, women and preteen children, is an un-condonable crime on the part of US Authorities including CIA and it is held so.
“ iv. That in view of the established facts & figures with regard to civilians casualties & damage caused to the properties, livestock of the citizens of Pakistan, the US Government is bound to compensate all the victims’ families at the assessed rate of compensation in kind of US dollars.
This Resolution demands the Government protect the sovereignty of Pakistan, the International Law cited above and enforce the judgment of the Peshawar High Court as soon as possible.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.