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Australian Columnist: CIA Drones In Pakistan Are Illegal, Violate International Law

Posted by yourpakistan on February 2, 2012


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pakistani boy in the tribal belt volunteered to collect evidence on CIA drones killing Pakistani civilians. He was killed in a drone attack within 72 hours.

SPECIAL REPORT | PakNationalists.net 

Australian columnist Justin Randle has criticized United States spy agency CIA’s drone attacks inside Pakistan as “illegal” and “outside the law.” 

The Sydney Morning Herald ran a column for Randle, titled, ‘US Steps Outside The Law As War On Terror Drones On.’ The opinion piece is an eye-opener for those few Pakistanis, in politics and government, who secretly continue to support foreign attacks on their own soil and are incapable of asserting control over their territory and protect their citizens killed at the hands of foreign intelligence agencies and terrorists.

Randle says that CIA drones are an attempt to violate international law. The restart of drone attacks in Pakistan is “the latest attempt by the United States to circumvent international law in pursuit of its alleged enemies,” he writes.

He notes that the increase in the use of CIA drones is part of a policy, where the American president has signed on the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA], “which codified the indefinite detention of US citizens.”

He quotes a ‘conservative’ American estimate of 1717 deaths in Pakistan by CIA drones between 2004 and 2011, with a ‘conservative’ estimate of 32% civilian Pakistanis dead, all unaccounted for by the Pakistani government, media and the judiciary.  Randle referred to the chilling story of Pakistani boy Tariq Aziz.

“At a meeting held in Waziristan, organized by the UK legal charity Reprieve, locals were encouraged to accumulate photographic evidence of the damage these strikes cause. Tariq Aziz, a 16-year-old boy, offered to collect this information if it would help protect his family. Within 72 hours the car he was travelling in was blown up by a drone.”

Randle’s verdict is insightful and damning. “Was Tariq Aziz a militant? Was his 12-year-old cousin – also killed – a militant? Was he involved in plotting attacks that may have jeopardized American lives? Here is the problem: amid official secrecy and in the absence of an allegation tried, tested and proven or disproven in an independent and transparent court, we can only guess. If Guantanamo and the NDAA represent an assault on the right to due process, drones dispense with the principle entirely.”

The irony is that while resentment increases against CIA drones among Pakistani citizens and also internationally, a handful of pro-US journalists in Pakistani media, politics and military elites continue to defend the attacks using the strange logic that foreign terrorists also violate Pakistani sovereignty. This twisted logic does not take into account the fact that foreign terrorists, including terror chief OBL, entered Pakistan in 2001 thanks to the blunders of US military in Afghanistan. They also ignore how CIA’s covert activities are preventing any possibility of normalization or peace in the Pakistani tribal belt.

Randle’s opinion is part of increasing realization internationally about the illegality of CIA drone attacks.

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