The admission by the government that United States is carrying out done attacks in Pakistan is tantamount to admission of American aggression against the country, said Hafiz Saeed in his rejoinder, filed on Thursday in the Lahore High Court, to the reply of the Foreign Ministry on the petition he filed against drone attacks.
He added that it was the duty of the courts to ensure provision of basic human rights according to the Constitution and protection of life was one of them.
The court adjourned the hearing till Friday (today).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said in its reply that terrorists were the main focus of US drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. It admitted that these strikes violated the country’s sovereignty.
It added that the government of Pakistan had been consistent in registering its protest with the US government on collateral damage and violation of sovereignty.
The ministry said that the US started drone attacks in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan from 2008 onwards. However, the frequency of attacks increased in 2009 to 37 strikes and to 115 in 2010 when the US administration decided to dismantle and disrupt safe heavens of terrorists. The reply said that so far more than 200 drone strikes had taken place.
This reply was submitted in connection with a petition filed by Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed against US drones attacks on Pakistani soil. The JuD chief in his petition had submitted that federal government should be directed to make public information in all matters of public importance, especially ‘secret deals’ with US. Such disclosure said Saeed was required in the spirit of Article 19-A of the Constitution which entitles every citizen to have access to all information.
He also sought a court declaration that federal government has acted against the general will of the people.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2013.
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