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- Friday, April 12, 2013 - From Print Edition


PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday reserved judgment on different writ petitions filed against the US drone strikes in the tribal areas.


A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali reserved the verdict in the cases after hearing arguments from lawyers and law officers on different aspects of the national and international laws in a period of two years. The bench would likely announce the decision next week.


During the course of hearing, the chief justice remarked that if the government could take action on the attack on Salala Checkpost and stop Afghanistan-bound NATO supplies passing through Pakistan then it could also take a similar decision in context of the drone strikes. He observed that the US considered itself as champion of human rights in the world, but it had kept a mum over the killing of hundreds of innocent people in the tribal areas in drone attacks. He remarked that people in the US were living a peaceful life, but the innocent people in Pakistan were bearing the brunt of the drone strikes. “Thousands of people have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, tribal agencies and elsewhere in the country in terrorist attacks in apparent reaction to the drone strikes,” he maintained.


When the chief justice asked from deputy attorney general, Muhammad Iqbal Mohmand, about the Abbottabad Commission, he said its report had been completed and submitted to the government but had not made public. The chief justice observed that in Pakistan reports are being prepared for keeping in the cupboard and the common man remained unaware about the facts.


The CJ observed that even the decisions of the parliament were not implemented. Citing the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report, he recalled that some parts of the report became public in Pakistan after it was published in India.Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), lawyer FM Sabir and tribal elder Malik Noor Khan have filed the writ petitions against drone attacks.


The Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR) lawyer Barrister Shahzad Akbar submitted that drone strikes are against the UN Resolution No 55/2 “UN Millennium Declaration 200” under which every state shall respect sovereignty of other states.