Petition seeks injunction for PAF to shoot down drones

Published: May 9, 2012

According to the PHC petition, over 3,000 people have been killed in over 320 drone strikes in FATA.

PESHAWAR: 

A Pakistan-based legal charity has sought court injunctions for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to shoot down American drones flying into the Pakistani airspace in a lawsuit.

Foundation for Fundamental Rights has filed two petitions before the Peshawar High Court on behalf of victims of the drone strike carried out on March 17 last year.

The petitions cite the federation of Pakistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence among others as its respondents. One of the petitioners is Noor Khan, the surviving son of Malik Daud Khan, who was the head of a North Waziristan Jirga and was killed along with 50 other tribal elders and notables by CIA operated drones last year.

On March 17, 2011, a US drone fired missiles, brutally killing 50 people, including Khan, five members of the Khasadar force, and a small child.

FFR works along with British legal charity Reprieve which had filed a similar petition in London earlier against involvement of the British government in drone strikes in Pakistan.

According to the PHC petition, over 3,000 people have been killed in over 320 drone strikes in FATA.

The petitioners are seeking court orders asking the federal government to take up the issue before the United Nations Security Council, International Court of Justice and UNHRC.

They have also stated that the federal government should order the Pakistan Air Force to shoot down drones flying inside Pakistani territory in order to protect its citizens and initiate criminal proceedings against those involved on Pakistani or American side.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.

Reader Comments (39)

  • Harry Stone
    May 9, 2012 - 8:44AM

    PAF loves their F16s/

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  • Zaleem Singh
    May 9, 2012 - 8:47AM

    Drones not to be stop

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  • John B
    May 9, 2012 - 8:58AM

    There is something funny in this news- court directs PAK army to shoot down the drones, PAK army delays the directive as PAK govt did in other cases, will the COAS be held in contempt?

    Shooting US drones with US donated missiles and US planes? Got to smile at the irony and dilemma.

    The petitioner has forgotten that PAK sits in the UN security council and the court should direct him to approach the FM office and govt of PAK on the matter.

    If courts decides to direct the foreign policy and military tactics, then PAK SC will be the unelected ruler of PAK with totalitarian authority.

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  • nisar shaikh
    May 9, 2012 - 9:11AM

    Pakistan army had the knowledge and gave the permission for these attacks when drones were taking off from pakistani terretory.

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  • May 9, 2012 - 9:16AM

    Great way to handle the issue. Time for regime change if pro-US govt. creates hurdle in this.

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  • May 9, 2012 - 10:20AM

    Already overburdened and poor judiciary will have to take another huge responsibility – -Commanding the armed forces of Pakistan. They are already over-worked by ordering and monitaring the day-to-day administrative affairs of the government.

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  • Hassan
    May 9, 2012 - 10:30AM

    our leaders never implement court orders

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  • Adeel759
    May 9, 2012 - 10:33AM

    They want to see PAF evaporatedRecommend

  • Albert Kahn
    May 9, 2012 - 10:41AM

    Top Pakistani military officials are happy with the drones. They get $$$.

    I don’t think, Pakistan’s military will ever go against the US. They are involved in the game. They have always been.

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  • Nizam Baig
    May 9, 2012 - 10:51AM

    No permission should be required
    No Petition should be filed – just soot it down at any cost

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  • Rizwan
    May 9, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Army should come clean on the issue .If they can not shoot down a drone what happens if an fighter aircraft comes in to Pakistan !

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  • vasan
    May 9, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Where is the full proof EVIDENCE, which Pak demands always. Have they done the forensic examination. Have they got the eye witness. The maximum they can do is catch a drone, charge it and imprison them. May be they can send dossiers to US.

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  • Shyam
    May 9, 2012 - 11:01AM

    You shoot at them, they shoot back, people get killed… then you ask for an apology

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  • RizwanTKhan
    May 9, 2012 - 11:06AM

    @nisar shaikh:
    Its not Pak Army but Pk govt. Govt is the decision making authority, not Armed Forces.

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  • Asad Hasan
    May 9, 2012 - 11:07AM

    I would like to know if PAK AForce really have the capacity to shoot down the drones. What if there is a retaliatory strike by US?

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  • Zamir Malik
    May 9, 2012 - 11:19AM

    I have enough knowledge of Airforce as it is my hobby to learn about it. Believe me it will be a death bed for Pakistan Air Force. PAF dont have the ability to shoot anything stealth. One f22 Raptor is enough to destroy the whole Squardon of F16s and one Squardon of F22s is enough for whole of Airforce destruction of Pakistan. Our JF17 are not even 4th generation and non stealth and we cannot fight with any fifth generation. Live in reality and dont make tall claims .

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  • gp65
    May 9, 2012 - 11:27AM

    I understand and respect the petitioner’s sentiment and sympathise with him for his personal loss. I do not however understand why has court accepted this petition? Is there an expectation that it can actually give direction to Pak air-force and thus take charge of foreign policy?

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  • Acorn Guts
    May 9, 2012 - 11:47AM

    Drone attacks are carried out with full consent of our ‘democratically elected representatives’. Call it bullying or what ever, GOP or Armed Forces cannot move a muscle under this agreement. In return they have full permission to sit and ridicule drones all they like. Why do you think such a careless Gov. And such a capable airforce has not done anything but talk talk talk for the last decade?

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  • Muhammad
    May 9, 2012 - 11:59AM

    and why will the mercenary air force use the american weapons on amercian drones??

    let us be realistic

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  • Ansar Hussain Rizvi
    May 9, 2012 - 12:27PM

    Shooting down a drone is not an issue, it is a slow moving low altitude flying plane, the problem is that who has the guts to say TARGET LOCKED, and pull a trigger and shoot a sidewinder to bring the culprit down. If anyone has those guts please put up your hand.

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  • let there be peace
    May 9, 2012 - 1:09PM

    Pakistan military should oblige all the patriotic Pakistanis, Ghazwa-e-Hind council and the judiciary who are crying shrill against drones.
    Last time when some Pakistani soldiers at Salala check post thought ‘let’s have some fun’ and fired few shots in direction of NATO forces; NATO sent helicopters and warplanes to kill 24 Pakistani soldiers. It would be interesting to see how they react after some drones are shot down.

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  • Cautious
    May 9, 2012 - 1:50PM

    Your military is afraid to take on guys who carry AK”s and RPG’s — you really think they want to go to war with a country that has the ability to eliminate all those expensive high tech toys in about a week? Don’t forget – your military watched the Gulf war on TV just like the rest of the World – no way they want to act as another Saddam proxy.

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  • aliz
    May 9, 2012 - 2:55PM

    all such orders are in hands of president, when they knew that attack is going on at salala , then forces were waiting presidents order to shoot down. even decision was made in assembly that they will shoot down drones , but that never happened. its a dirty game.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 9, 2012 - 4:36PM

    @John B:

    “Shooting US drones with US donated missiles and US planes? Got to smile at the irony and dilemma. …….. If courts decides to direct the foreign policy and military tactics, then PAK SC will be the unelected ruler of PAK with totalitarian authority.”

    Only people who think “might is right” and take arrogance as pride, say something like this.
    The constitution of Pakistan entrusts the apex courts to protect the human rights of the fellow citizens and where ever there is a violation of such, it is the courts’ responsibility to intervene.

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  • neltajohn
    May 9, 2012 - 5:08PM

    The Taliban are beheading pakistan soldiers so why would the army shoot down drones.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 9, 2012 - 5:45PM

    @Zamir Malik:

    “Believe me it will be a death bed for Pakistan Air Force. PAF dont have the ability to shoot anything stealth.”

    Stealth technology has certain limitations and one of them is the closeness. They closer the stealth plane gets to a radar or a fighter jet, more chances are it gets detected. That is why special tactics are employed as well to improve the stealthiness, like sudden surprise, use of darkness and avoiding the closeness to radars. In a dog fight situation, I have serious doubts about its full usefulness, however, it certainly has advantages over the non-stealth fighter.

    “One f22 Raptor is enough to destroy the whole Squardon of F16s and one squardon of F22s is enough for whole of Airforce destruction of Pakistan.”

    Basically it is not a question of destroying one squadron of F16′s or the whole of Pakistan Air Force. It a question of legality and the will to take the fight to to a full fledged war. Even if the PAF was capable of taking on the F22s, the question still would have remained if Pakistan was willing to take the hostility to next level, which she might not like or afford.

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  • Lala Gee
    May 9, 2012 - 5:55PM

    @Cautious:

    “you really think they want to go to war with a country that has the ability to eliminate all those expensive high tech toys in about a week? Don’t forget”

    To certain extent you are right. Pakistan should not and does not wish war with USA or any other country of the world. However, you also “don’t forget” that recent history proved that toys hardly matter in the end. Remember Vietnam, North Korea, and more recently Afghanistan.

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  • Singh
    May 9, 2012 - 6:22PM

    Please take control of Lyari first.
    Lala Gee are you enemy of your own country men?
    Full fledged war mean stone age for Pakistan. You need to understand difference between guerrilla warfare & enemy define i.e. military target. How many war you guys need to understand what defeat mean?

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  • @plarkin
    May 9, 2012 - 6:27PM

    So was “Malik Daud Khan, who was the head of a North Waziristan Jirga” a law abiding citizen? Did he respect the lives of others around him? Was he involved in the beheading of FC soldiers? Did he go around blowing up public and government property?

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  • Singh
    May 9, 2012 - 6:29PM
  • Lala Gee
    May 9, 2012 - 8:52PM

    @Singh:

    “Full fledged war mean stone age for Pakistan. You need to understand difference between guerrilla warfare & enemy define i.e. military target. How many war you guys need to understand what defeat mean?”

    Well we fought three wars with India, or lets say four if Kargil is also included.

    1948: Pakistan won and occupied considerable area of Kashmir.

    1965: Nobody won. India failed to take back control of the Kashmir and GB valleys and occupy Lahore. Pakistan failed to capture the remaining 55% of Kashmir valley even though it made some advancements.

    1971: Pakistan Lost (but India didn’t win anything, ask Bangladeshis how much they love you). The reason were very simple. Pakistan was then strategically at disadvantage as it was separated by 1,000 miles of hostile Indian territory.

    1999: Nothing on the ground changed, so if India claims a win for taking back, through American pressure, its own territory, we have no problem accepting your claim.

    In addition to all the above, India fought a war with China in 1962 and was humiliatingly defeated. India fought yet another clandestine war in Sri Lank during 1983 – 1987 period, and lost it shamefully.

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  • gp65
    May 9, 2012 - 11:30PM

    @aliz: “all such orders are in hands of president, when they knew that attack is going on at salala , then forces were waiting presidents order to shoot down. even decision was made in assembly that they will shoot down drones , but that never happened. its a dirty game”

    Sorry. ABout Salala, army high command was aware. The president was informed only next day. So it was an order from the army high comand that failed to come. Also please note that it is only in 2012 that an attempt is bieng made to hand over foreign policy to executive/parliament. In 2011 when Salal happened, army was fully in charge of the foreign policy. So even from that perspective the order if any to scramble jets should have come from there.

    Secondly not once did the PCNS say the drones should be shot down. They said stopping drones is a prerequisite for reopening supply routes. So far the routes are closed. So not sure what you are talking about.

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  • Imran Con
    May 10, 2012 - 12:13AM

    @Lala Gee:
    Don’t try to compare yourself to the big boys. You have the 6th largest military but still are a complete push over for any of the current stronger countries. Your numbers added to that make you quite sad in the big picture.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 10, 2012 - 12:43AM

    One wonders what has courts to do with this ……….Yes, if either Hafiz Saeed sahib or our CJ is on the driving seat of F-16 they can do it. There won’t be any contempt.

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  • Ali Pakistani
    May 10, 2012 - 12:48AM

    @Harry Stone:

    Those F-16s have the ability to carry nukes too, but the world hasn’t seen such a massacre, Japan did.

    As they say, Truth can be stranger than Fiction, Your time will come, Truth shall win, Wrong-doers shall pay:

    youtube.com/watch?v=N1vwjFhF4dA

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    May 10, 2012 - 12:58AM

    Drone attacks are coordinated and directed by OUR intelligence and OUR paid-spies who plant chips on people and places. But the US does not trust us completely — and perhaps for good reason. I am sure WE often mislead them or the targets are given advanced warning and they scurry away to strike and kill innocent people another day.

    Few things in life, in love or war, are clear cut.

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  • May 10, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Under international law as long as Pakistan lets terrorists rule in Wazirstan other countries have the right to strike at them without seeking Pakistani permission or even acknowledgement. For Pakistan to shoot at the drones instead of the terrorists would be to openly acknowledge Pakistan is a de facto ally of terrorism. Are Pakistanis leaders ready for that step?

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  • Salman Sheikh
    Jun 1, 2012 - 2:29PM

    @Solomon2:
    What International law to kill thousand of innocent civilian for WMD in Iraq..???

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  • Salman Sheikh
    Jun 1, 2012 - 2:30PM

    Hahaha who told that man that F-16 shoots drones lol

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