Asma Jahangir doesn't speak against drone strikes but "elements causing drone strikes"

12:41 PM | 27 May, 2016
Asma Jahangir doesn't speak against drone strikes but
LAHORE (Staff Report) - While keeping quiet about the American role in drone strikes, renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir has urged the government to expel elements whose presence in the country leads to US drone strikes.

Talking to newsmen outside the Lahore High Court (LHC), Asma said that Pakistan is so mismatched with the United States in terms of power that it could only register protest against drone strikes. American policy to violate Pakistan's sovereignty is not legal, but Pakistan also needs to revisit its foreign policy, she added.

She said that the expulsion of militant elements from Pakistan is in our own interest and in that case United States will also not violate out borders to kill them.

Speaking about the committee formed to frame ToRs for investigation into Panama Papers revelations, the lawyer said that opposition would keep devising terms of references to no avail.

Lawyers are neither anyone’s agent nor they should launch any movement for an investigation into the Panama leaks, she noted, while referring to Pakistan Bar Council's announcement of protest if Pakistani offshore wealth revealed by the documents is not investigated.

Related: Mullah Mansour Drone Attack: Behind-the-scenes story of how the Taliban chief was hunted down

Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhter Mansour was killed in a US drone attack in Balochistan's Naushki area on May 21.

Pakistan termed the US action as a violation of its sovereignty. However, United States announced to continue such attacks to target those posing threat against American interests.

Read more: Strike on Mansour violation of sovereignty, Pakistan tells US ambassador

US President Barack Obama and the Pentagon said separately that Mansour was planing attacks on US troops in Afghanistan.

The United States began its controversial drone campaign in Pakistan in 2004. Since then over 400 drone strikes have taken place in Pakistan, while number of causalities range from 3000 to 3500.

Related: Obama confirms Mullah Mansour’s killing; the Pentagon and Pakistan do not

Pakistan has called these strikes violation of its international border and has condemned many drone attacks since 2013. It says that such US actions are further radicalizing the victims of drone attacks and breeding a new generation of terrorists.

Asma Jahangir, however, disagrees with Pakistan's official stance on drones and believes that radicalization of the Pakistani youth had started in the 1980s during Zia rule, long before there were any drone attacks on militants.

She also believes that Pakistan’s sovereignty has already been hijacked by non-­state militants of various nationalities and the areas where the drone strikes happen, are fully under control of these militants.

These militants have actually taken over parts of FATA and have been running a parallel system of governance in these areas and they must be targeted by all means, she adds.