Rights watchdog to Pakistan govt: Ask US to halt strikes in tribal region
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has asked the Pakistani government to take meaningful steps to prevent loss of life and property in the tribal areas of the country in raids by US-led coalition forces operating in Afghanistan.
Iqbal Haider, co-chairperson of HRCP, said in a statement issued in Lahore on behalf of the commission that attacks in the tribal areas, the killing of civilians and violation of Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty by the US-led coalition forces have assumed the form of a regular series.
“Each attack is followed by stereotype official protests by Islamabad, threats of ‘befitting replies’, statements of condemnation by all and sundry and the occasional summoning of the US envoy to the Foreign Office,” it said. “Such gestures achieve little nor do they convince the people of the government’s keenness to protect innocent lives or to assert its sovereignty,” the statement added.
The HRCP said that securing the life of its people is a responsibility the government owes to all its citizens, including those living in the tribal areas.
The top human rights watchdog of the country said Pakistan must urgently hold earnest negotiations with its allies in the so-called war on terror to ensure that such attacks on its territory and killing of innocent Pakistanis in the tribal areas cease.
“The issue is much too serious to be addressed only through angry and reactive statements after every attack,” it said.
The HRCP co-chairperson said it must be emphasised in the talks that such attacks are counterproductive. He said the killing of innocent people creates hatred and militants faster than any military action can eliminate.