The Lahore High Court said on Friday that killing of innocent citizens including children and women in U.S. drone attacks is a violation of the fundamental rights of the people as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.
The Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial made the remarks while hearing a petition moved by Jamatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed against the U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.
He said the federal government had failed to protect the lives and properties of people of Pakistan.
The Chief Justice asked the deputy attorney general, appearing on behalf of the federal government, whether such strikes were being made with the permission of government and whether steps had been taken to stop the killings of innocents in these attacks.
The court directed the federal government to submit record of agreement, if any, between Pakistan and the US on the drone attacks.
Advancing arguments, JuD chief’s counsel AK Dogar claimed that protecting the lives and properties of the citizens of Pakistan was a prime responsibility of the state. If, however, the state was involved in murdering its own citizens after joining hands with another country, it was then the duty of the judiciary to ask government that why it was not performing its Constitutional duties, the counsel said.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in his petition had sought directions to the federal government to make public information in all matters of public importance, especially of any secret ‘deals’ with US in implementation of the constitution which entitles every citizen of Pakistan to have access of all information.
The JUD chief had asked the court to declare that pre-emptive strikes by foreign countries were not permitted under international laws, therefore, every man, woman and child has the right to seek protection.