Hundreds of tribesmen protested against the drone attacks on Friday, January 21, in Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency. The tribesmen waved banners inscribed with slogans against the US and allied forces despite the fact that Pakistan is closely co-operating with the US in all drone attacks. Much could have been done by Pakistani Government to stop these attacks like they stopped the US infiltration on the Pak-Afghan border by impeding the NATO supplies last year. Previously, in November 2010, Kareem Khan, an inhabitant of North Waziristan also sued the US over drone strikes as a result of death of his son and brother. Following his case in Supreme Court, the CIA station Chief Jonathan Banks was immediately called back to the US, fearing Mr Banks was not enjoying any immunity from trial like all other CIA officials who are civilians and involved in killing of innocent people of FATA. According to the UN special rapporteur Philip Alston, Drone attacks have become favourite play-station game for the CIA officers, who are killing innocent Pakistanis without any previous investigation or trial. For us as Pakistanis this is a great dilemma of self-respect and sovereignty. In April 2009, I accompanied experts from the US and as part of the assessment we met with more than 60 key representatives of Government of Pakistan, political parties and establishment. This was a shocking experience because only one opposed drone attacks and the rest either appreciated or said there was no other solution thus not opposing it. The government strongly supported drone attacks, which is now no longer a conspiracy after the Wikileaks. Among the 60 people, only Imran khan opposed the drone attacks and criticized the US policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Imran and one of the American experts agreed to do a talk show. The program went well with many confessions, but it did not help Pakistani government and establishment to stop these attacks. During the assessment, one of the recommendations was to provide drones or include a Pakistani flag so that those who are waiting for their death could witness the Pakistani drones instead of the US. Though the government of Pakistan denies to have given any consent for the attacks, such assessments make it evident that the reality is far beyond the matter of consent. Facts show that the CIA and other US forces never followed the principles of distinction and proportionality since many attacks were launched on schools, religious seminaries, funerals and sadly on the occasions when civilians were celebrating religious holidays such as Eid-ul-Adha. Shocking to this, is the recklessness of Pakistani authorities to verify if suspects were really criminals but since it was never done therefore the civilians including infants, children and women died in numbers exceeding 1500 and injured are uncounted and who cares - whereas only two dozen suspects were found criminals. The US administration itself has no idea of which particular law has been followed for these target killings and to avoid criticism they use general terms such as Applicable Laws and Laws of War and that it has asserted right to self-defence against Al-Qaeda. But under Article 51 of UN Charter 69, the right to self-defence may only be invoked after an attack has taken place. But in practice most of the drone attacks are pre-emptive when threats are not imminent and they cant be based on a war that has no ends unless the US forces remains in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One day, we will have to stop drone attacks by sacrificing on IMF loans. Therefore, before the jurisdiction of drones comes near to Islamabad and other urban centres we must stop it now ZIA UR REHMAN, London, February 5.