In international humanitarian law, targeted killings are sanctioned in armed conflict. In principle, they can only be used as long as there is evidence of a serious threat in a conflict situation and where no other solution is available. But theater of war is in Afghanistan not in Pakistan, and the US has a mandate to carry out strikes in Afghanistan not in Pakistani tribal areas. Escalation of drone strikes in FATA has destabilized Pakistan and people of these areas are getting against Pakistan army and government because they suspect that Pakistan is part of drone strategy against people of tribal areas.
The Amnesty International, in its statement, said that the drone attacks “disregard human rights law” and that “the carrying out of killings …. represents a fundamental challenge to the whole international system for the protection of human rights.” The UNHRC investigator, Philip Alston, has also questioned US drone strikes inside FATA. He criticized the US’s refusal to respond to date to the United Nation’s concerns. On June 2, 2010, Alston’s team released a report based on its investigation into drone strikes and criticized the US for being, ‘the most prolific user of targeted killings’ in the world. However the US government has asked a federal court to reject lawsuits demanding the release of documents on CIA drone strikes targeting suspected militants abroad, labeling it as classified.
Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta has also maintained that the US would continue to attack al Qaeda in Pakistan despite complaints from Islamabad that the drone strikes violate its sovereignty. He said we have made it very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves. This policy would further jeopardize relationship between Pakistan and the US. It would plunge Pakistan into instability and turmoil. America has to end its use of force policy because use of unprovoked force has proven to be counter productive.
There is a need of increased transparency and accountability regarding drone strikes inside Pakistani tribal areas. All countries must play their due role in strengthening international law and work for global peace and security.