Press Release, September 9
Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has asked the government to take meaningful steps to prevent loss of life and property in the Tribal Areas in raids by US-led coalition forces operating in Afghanistan.
A statement issued by the Commission on Tuesday said: 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 stereotyped 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. Such gestures achieve little, nor do they convince the people of the government’s keenness to protect innocent lives or to assert its sovereignty.
Securing the life of its people is a responsibility the government owes to all its citizens, including those living in the Tribal Areas.
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 killings 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 must be emphasised in these talks that such attacks are counter-productive. The killing of innocent people creates hatred and militants faster than any military action can eliminate.