The illegal and unilateral US policy of using drones to kill people in Pakistan is absolutely unacceptable, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday.
The PTI chief said his party felt vindicated again with the publication of the Amnesty International report on drones, entitled, Will I be Next: US Drone Strikes in Pakistan.
The report points out that the US must be held accountable for drone killings in Pakistan, and as Khan pointed out, it also suggests that these unlawful killings could amount to war crimes.
Khan reminded that the PTI had consistently held that drones were a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and was a violation of international law, including human rights laws. Khan demanded the Peshawar High Court’s judgement on drones given earlier this year be implemented immediately.
“The government has been mandated by all the political parties to stop drones over FATA and the PML-N itself committed to doing it if elected to power. Now the time has come to implement the APC mandate and its own electoral commitment to the people of Pakistan,” Khan said.
The PTI chairman also pointed out that last week the BBC referred to a UN investigation which had found that US drone strikes had killed at least 400 civilians in Pakistan, far more than the US had ever acknowledged.
Khan condemned “the conspiracy of deliberate confusion and duplicity on drone attacks against Pakistan’s FATA region which is now being exposed internationally” and said, “it is sad to learn of our own leaders and other elements being part of this conspiracy – a point that is highlighted in the Amnesty International Report as well, and a point which the PTI had been raising since drone attacks began.”
“The illegal and unilateralist US policy of using drones to kill people in Pakistan is absolutely unacceptable and the federal government should ensure that this unlawful US action is immediately stopped,” Khan said, adding that today drones threatened the APC-mandated dialogue process to give peace a chance. “This cannot be allowed to happen.”
He said there must be zero tolerance for such actions against Pakistan and its people, as these fuelled militancy and aggravated the problem of terrorism, “especially in the frontline province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which is surrounded on three sides by FATA and has had to bear the brunt of the drone fallout in terms of IDPs as well as civilian and LEA personnel martyred to terrorist acts”.