Dec 9, 2013
Pakistani Court: U.S. Drone Strikes Are War Crimes
Posted on May 10, 2013
The Peshawar High Court declared U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt illegal Thursday and ordered the government to initiate a resolution against the attacks in the United Nations.
The court issued the ruling in response to four petitions that contended the attacks killed civilians. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, CIA-led drone strikes have killed 400 to 900 Pakistani civilians and more than 160 children. The real number is likely much higher as the U.S. government recognizes as militants all males of military age killed within a combat zone until they are posthumously proven otherwise.
Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan ruled the strikes illegal, inhumane and a violation of the U.N. charter on human rights, The Independent reported. The court declared the strikes must be recognized as war crimes because they kill innocent people.
“The government of Pakistan must ensure that no drone strike takes place in the future,” the court said, according to the Press Trust of India. “If the US vetoes the [United Nations] resolution, then the country should think about breaking diplomatic ties with the US,” the judgment said.
U.S. officials say the strikes target al-Qaida and Taliban fighters who launch cross-border attacks in Afghanistan from Pakistan’s tribal regions and that the drone actions are ordered with the blessing of Pakistan’s military.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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