ISLAMABAD: Former federal law minister and PML-Q Senator S M Zafar has demanded that the government must cut off the Nato supply line to stop the killings of innocent Pakistani citizens in US drone attacks.
He said that Pakistani courts not only hold the legal right to issue the notices to CIA officials responsible for killing the innocent Pakistanis but they can also demand compensation for the victims.
S M Zafar expressed these views in a special episode of Capital Talk which was recorded on Jinnah Avenue Islamabad with the victims of drone attacks and many parliamentarians. Host of Capital Talk Hamid Mir first spoke to some victims who travelled from North Waziristan to Islamabad for joining a protest camp against US drone attacks.
Khairullah showed the college ID card of his younger brother Sanaullah who was killed last month in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan in a US drone attack. “US claimed that a high value target was killed in that attack, but my brother was only a student of class 7th,” Khairullah lamented.
Another boy Saddam Hussain told Hamid Mir that his sister-in-law and young niece were killed in a drone attack. Karim Khan also shared that his brother did his masters in English from National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad and he came back to North Waziristan for teaching English in a local school but he was also killed in a drone attack.
Some heart shattering scenes were also seen in the programme when a young boy Sadaullah showed his two lame legs which he lost in a drone attack. Another boy present in the camp lost his right eye. An old man Sahab Din with white beard, eyes brimming with tears, said in his broken Urdu that he lost his young son Sabir along with other members of the family in a drone attack. “I am not a terrorist I am victim,” he groaned.
After hearing all this, Senator S M Zafar said enough is enough and now the time has come for the government and opposition to make a joint strategy for stopping the drone attacks. He proposed to cut off the Nato supply line. All the parliamentarians present at the talk show, including ANP Senator Afrasiab Khttak, MNA from North Waziristan Muhammad Kamran Khan, Senator Hafiz Muhammad Rashid from Mohmand Agency and MNA from Mardan Khawaja Hoti, agreed with S M Zafar.
The parliamentarians from the government and opposition benches, while condemning the drone attacks, were unanimous that these attacks are counter-productive because these attacks are producing more violence and more hatred against the USA. They also demanded that if the US believed that terrorists from the Pakistani tribal areas are infiltrating into Afghanistan then Pak-Afghan border should be sealed for the security reasons.
Parliamentarians from tribal areas Muhammad Kamran Khan and Hafiz Muhammad Rashid alleged that the US is organising drone attacks in Pakistan with the consent of Pakistani government but Senator Afrasiab Khattak of the Awami National Party (ANP) negated it.
He also said that it was a fact that many innocent people have been killed but some terrorists were also targeted in the drone attacks. The ANP lawmaker accepted that killing of innocent civilians is violation of international law and victims have the right to take legal action against the CIA. He agreed that number of terrorists killed in these attacks was very low while the number of innocent causalities was too high.
An angry Fata Senator Hafiz Muhammad Rashid at one stage offered his services that “if government cannot stop drone attacks then I and my tribe is ready to destroy the drones but we need assurance that the government will not take any action against us, we destroyed a drone in the past and we can do it again in the future”.
Hamid Mir also spoke to Barrister Shehzad who is planning to fight a legal battle against the CIA on behalf of the drone attacks victims. Barrister Shehzad said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan has the right to issue notices to the CIA officials responsible for the killing of innocent Pakistanis. He said that in last two years more than 2,000 Pakistanis have been killed in drone attacks out of them only 31 were militants.