A Legal Assessment of the US Drone Strikes in Pakistan

In: International Criminal Law Review
Shakeel AhmadAssistant Professor in Department of International Relations National Defence University Islamabad, Pakistan

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While assessing the legality of the US drone strikes in Pakistan, this article takes into account the nature of armed conflict which has potential to be converted into an international armed conflict (IAC) from a non-international armed conflict (NIAC). The growing trust-deficit between Pakistan and the US is catalyst for determination of nature of armed conflict. The arguments based on tacit consent of Pakistan no longer stands valid after a clear protest by Pakistani officials at national, bilateral and international level. It also examines the observance of the rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in comparison with official US statements. Continued drone strikes are now being considered as counter-productive and resulting in increased suicide bombing in various cities of Pakistan. The author suggests a collaborative effort by considering other social, political and economic factors to minimize the violation of IHL for desired results.

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