Lahore: A Pakistani court has observed that US drone strikes are against the independence, integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and directed the government to take steps to stop the attacks provided it has "no agreement with America" in this connection.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif made the observation yesterday while dismissing a petition challenging drone strikes allegedly conducted with the Pakistan government`s permission.
Sharif stated that everybody knows innocent people in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas are being murdered in the US drone attacks.
"I, being Chief Justice of Punjab and a citizen of Pakistan, am of the considered view that due to drone attacks, terrorist activities are increasing in the country and citizens are being killed in suicide attacks," he said.
The Defence Ministry, in a statement submitted in the High Court, said it had "no comments" regarding the allegations made in the petition.
The Chief Justice rejected this reply, observing that the Defence Ministry had plainly stated its position but had not done enough to save its position.
Sardar Zaheer Khan, a lawyer from Rawalpindi, had filed the petition. He had asked the High Court to direct the federal government to furnish a report on any agreement it had with the US regarding the drone strikes.
Khan had said that the government should give the number of drone attacks carried out so far and the number of people killed by them.
He said compensation should be provided to the victims of the attacks. He further demanded the registration of criminal cases against US President Barack Obama and other authorities responsible for the "murder" of innocent people on Pakistani soil.