In another recent development, former US President Jimmy Carter has accused President Barack Hussain Obama of sanctioning the widespread abuse of human rights by authorizing drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists. He pointed out that US is violating 10 of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ironically, this gentleman who happened to be the US’ 39th president, pointed out that the United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights. One wonders when this happened that the United States was global champion of human rights. One wonders if he is referring to the bounties business, nuclear attack on civilians of Japan during World War-II or the mass graves in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We have so far over 1.5 million dead in Afghanistan and Pakistan only as a result of US and allies’ missile and drone attacks on these people. Among these majority comprises women, old men and children. It is interesting to note that despite Pakistan’s repeated demands of unconditional apology by Washington over the United States and its allies’ missile strikes inside Pakistani territories that resulted in the martyrdom 24 Pakistani personnel at Salala Post, the United States is least concerned as nothing happened. Naturally, when the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan kept quiet on the cold-blooded murders of 1.5 million innocent civilians by the United States in both the countries, the figure of 24 is negligible for any war criminal and human right violator.
Washington’s claim that drone attacks are being carried out with the consent of Pakistan is not justified under the international law. Article 20 of the United Nations’ “Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts” states, “Valid consent by a state to the commission of an act by another state precludes the wrongfulness of the act in relation to the former state to the extent that the act remains within the limits of that consent.”
The drone attacks by the US violate the Charter of United Nations, Rome Statue and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which prohibit willful killing. Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. The attacks also violates articles of the Additional Protocol I; Article 51(2) prohibits the civilian population from being the object of the attacks under any circumstances; Article 51(5) talks about the principle of discrimination and regards an attack to be indiscriminate when bombarded by any means or methods which may lead to an incidental loss of civilian life. Similarly, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICC-PR), which has been ratified by US, prohibits extrajudicial executions. According to its Article 6(1) “every individual has the inherent right to life and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” According to Article 6(2) of ICC-PR the penalty of death can only be rendered by a competent court of law.
Washington and its allies are also guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity as per Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It is quite clear that if the US is guilty of committing one or more of these grave offences, it is guilty of war crimes and crime against humanity. One wonders why human rights organizations and activists are silent on such grave human rights violations. If this is the law, can any other country carry out similar drone attacks on targets in other countries? It is high time the US should be prevented from putting drones in operation against other countries, without openly announcing war against that country. There is a need to carry out trial in International Court of Justice against all those countries which participated in attacks on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and other sovereign nations.