Senate concerned over US law legalising drone attacks
By Ijaz Kakakhel
ISLAMABAD: The Upper House on Monday strongly reacted over a US legislation in which it allowed the CIA to carry out drone attacks in Pakistan anywhere, anytime, and directed Pakistan’s foreign minister to explain the government’s stance in this regard.
PML-N Senator Zafar Ali Shah told the Senate that the Obama administration had prepared the law, which was ready to be signed by the US president. “Once it is enacted, the CIA will carry out drone attacks in Pakistan and may target innocent people.” The senator regretted that the Pakistani media had highlighted the issue, but the government could not present its stance over it.
“If the law becomes operative, where would be the sovereignty of Pakistan? Coming days are very dangerous for the country if this became a permanent law,” he said. Shah also told the House that the Indian external affairs minister openly said there were terrorist training camps in India, but the US administration would totally ignore it, adding that the US would keep on finding targets in Pakistan. “Our people and forces have rendered great sacrifices, but in reward, the US is passing such laws which are totally against international norms.”
He apprehended that such a law would destroy regional peace and present the real picture of the US, who was claiming to be the champion of human rights.
The PML-N senator suggested that Pakistan should raise the issue at the international forum and strongly resist it.
Another PML-N senator, Raja Zafarul Haq, said that drone attacks were counter-productive and further enhanced terrorism in the country.
“What is the policy of the Pakistani military in this regard, who is always in contact with the CIA in the ongoing war on terror in the region? Such a unilateral policy against Pakistan is the reward of the sacrifices rendered by the people and the government of Pakistan in the war on terror.” PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain said that on one side, the US was seeking help from Pakistan in the war on terror, while on other hand, such legislations were being prepared, which were totally against Pakistan’s sovereignty. “The international forces are going to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 and will direly need Pakistan’s help in their return along with heavy equipment. At that time, after every seven minute, a container will pass through Pakistan.” He said innocent Pakistanis were being targeted by drones, and on the other hand, the Us was seeking the country’s support. He urged the government to link the cooperation with drone attacks.
Leader of the House Jehangir Badar informed the House that Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar would appraise the House over the issue. “The sentiment of senators would be conveyed to her.” He also requested the senators to collect relevant materials and present them in Senate today (Tuesday).