Islamabad, Sept. 25: A report on America’s drone policy by two U.S. law schools has said that drone strikes in Pakistan are counterproductive and damaging, kill innocent civilians, constantly terrorising the people of tribal areas, depriving children of education and even targeting rescuers.
According to The News, the report by Stanford Law School and New York University School of Law has demanded that the U.S. explain under what law it carries out drone attacks, and seeks an independent investigation into the drone killings, respect for human rights and international laws with respect to the use of force.
The report also asked journalists and media outlets to cease the common practice of referring simply to militant deaths, without further explanation. It warned that the CIA’s drone campaign “terrorises men, women and children” in North-West Pakistan “24 hours a day,” adding that it is “damaging and counterproductive,” and neither the U.S. policy-makers nor the American public can “continue to ignore evidence of the civilian harm” it causes.
The report, however, has mentioned that the U.S. should protect itself from terrorist threats. It said U.S.’ drone policy should be re-evaluated in the light of significant evidence of harmful impacts to Pakistani civilians and to the U.S. interests.
The report further said that drone strikes had undermined cultural and religious practices related to burial, and made family members afraid to attend funerals. In addition, families who lost loved ones or their homes in drone strikes now struggle to support themselves.
It added that drone strikes had also soured many Pakistanis on cooperation with the U.S. and undermined U.S.-Pak relations. One major study shows that 74% of Pakistanis now consider the U.S. an enemy.
It called upon the U.S. to fulfill its international obligations with respect to accountability and transparency, and ensure proper democratic debate about key policies.
Shahzad Akbar, Director FFR and Reprieve’s Legal Fellow in Pakistan said: “This report by U.S. academics has established what we have been saying for years. Drone strikes are illegal, largely terrorising the civilian population in Waziristan and pushing them to militancy. The world cannot expect us to love the U.S. when they are killing women, children, elderly and innocent civilians as indicated by this report. This new report will help poor victims in their quest for justice and due process.” (ANI)