Advisor to Prime Minister described Drone Strikes as Targeted Killings or Extra Judicial Killings

Islamabad: The Advisor to Prime Minister on Human Rights, Mr. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar held a press briefing on 19th of September at his office in which he categorically made it clear that drone strikes are not acceptable and the matter must be reported to the United Nations Special Reporter on Extra Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

Interestingly, up till now in Pakistan, the debate has only circled around the loss of innocent lives (collateral damage) and not around the specific legalities of these strikes in light of International Humanitarian Law (Law of War) and how these strikes are being viewed by eminent jurists around the world.

Apart from being in violation of Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty, there is a growing consensus among international law experts that these strikes can be aptly described as “targeted killings” or “extra judicial killings” primarily because the targets are being “taken out” without giving them an opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law.

This view is gaining ground in the international legal fraternity and is supported by various international treaties as well as the United States’ own constitution. The Advisor mentioned that one does not have to be a legal expert to see that there is blatant disregard of international law, customary law, treaties and conventions by the American administration.

The moral and legal obligations are being flouted by the US administration. America and its allies cannot preach respect for Human Rights when their own record is questionable ranging from disrespecting the environmental treaties to torturing detainees and now extra-judicial killings.

The Advisor requested that the matter may be taken up with the US at the appropriate level. It must be stressed upon our partners in the war on terror that these “extra judicial killings” must be stopped forthwith as these are entirely counterproductive.

He further requested that after every such strike the matter must be reported to the United Nations Special Reporter on Extra Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. Since office of the Special Reporter already holds the view that these strikes may amount to extra judicial killings and continues to take note of these strikes. Pakistan’s official communication to it in this regards might prove to be highly productive.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326