Pakistani court directs gov't to stop U.S. drone strikes

18:11, June 30, 2010      

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A court in Pakistan Wednesday directed the government to take measures to halt strikes by the United States drone aircraft in the country's tribal regions, local sources said.

A Pakistani citizen, Sardar Aziz, had filed a petition in the Lahore High Court to seek halt to the drone strikes. He was of the view that the U.S. drone strikes in tribal regions are violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and that innocent people are also killed in the attacks.

Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif disposed off the case and ruled that the government should take effective measures to stop drone strikes if the attacks are carried out without the consent of Pakistan.

The petitioner had also asked the government to seek details of the drone strikes and civilian casualties as the result of the U.S. attacks. He also requested the court to seek clarification from the government about any secret understanding between the U.S and Pakistan about the attacks.

Government lawyers had denied any agreement on drone strikes and said that the strikes are not carried out with the government consent.

The U.S. regularly conducts drone strikes in Pakistan tribal regions to what American officials say eliminate al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, who are planning attacks on NATO forces across the border.

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