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- Sunday, February 03, 2013 - From Print Edition




The major tribes from Waziristan Agency have announced to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the US drone attacks in its rugged region bordering Afghanistan over massive collateral damage.


During the ‘Peace Conference’ here on Saturday, Mufti Anwar Jan Mehsud condemned the US for drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, saying these attacks were killing mostly innocent people and damaging their property.


He said that like other residents of tribal region, Mehsuds were peace-loving people and didn’t support violence, but were being subjected to the growing drone strikes by the US through no fault of their own.


“If these strikes do not stop, which is unlikely to happen, then we will go to the International Court of Justice for relief by getting them stopped,” he said.


Mufti Anwar said that drone attacks were counterproductive and were fanning anti-American sentiments among Pakistan tribesmen.


He said that most of the victims of these attacks were women and children, but the US appeared to be least pushed about them and more interested in pursuing its own agenda in the region at all costs.


The representative of Mehsud tribe said that people of the tribal region would continue protesting against drone strikes at local and international levels besides knocking at the doors of international panels, including the United Nations and courts, for a halt to them.


He said that dialogue should be given a chance for sustainable peace in the region, as use of force had not been delivering the goods.


Another panellist, Mado Jan Gohar Wazir, said that most of the victims of the US drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas were innocent people. He said that the frequent hovering


of the US drones had shaken up tribesmen, especially women and children, so much that they constantly feared for their life.


According to him, unfortunately, the use of force in the tribal areas has forced a large number of the locals into fleeing their homes and living in tents.


Mado Jan said that tribesmen loved Pakistan as much as other Pakistanis did and had nothing to do with terrorist activities.


The panellists said that tribesmen had always fought troublemakers and militants both local and foreigner.


He said the perception about tribesmen being opposed to women’s education was wrong.


“We are not against educating our women. We realise how important educated women and men are for our future and want more and more of our tribesmen and tribeswomen get education. In this respect, we request the army to build schools, colleges and universities in the tribal region for both men and women,” he said.


Jan Assakzai, a London-based security analyst from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F), said that military option for peace had failed in Fata and Afghanistan and therefore, a new strategy was needed for the purpose.