Coming to the most crucial question whether the United States is entitled to claim any right to self-defence against Pakistan or to the contrary its missile attacks constitute an outright violation of our territorial integrity and political sovereignty. The answer to this question almost entirely turns upon whether the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has been justified under the UN Charter and International Law, and whether the US sponsored and propped up Karzai regime has been legitimate enough to represent the will of the Afghan people. If either the US presence in Pakistan or Karzai's regime is unlawful and illegitimate under the UN Charter, the Islamic militants engaged in supporting their Afghan brethren in resisting this unlawful occupation and the illegitimate Karzai regime cannot be condemned as terrorist or even as intruders. Hence the US or the Karzai regime in Afghanistan cannot under the UN Charter and International Law claim the right to self-defence against Pakistan or even the right to hot pursuit to the Islamic militants into our country. It may be recalled that when General Macarthur during the Korean War wanted to launch military operations against the Chinese troops streaming into North Korea in support of the North Koreans, the general was not only prevented from doing so but was also dismissed. The US invaded Afghanistan in the name of self-defence under Article 51 of UN Charter on the ground that the 9/11 attack was organised and instigated by Osama bin Laden from the safe havens in Afghanistan and on American demand Mullah Omer refused to extradite Osama to the it. The right to self-defence granted under Article 51 of the Charter becomes valid only in the case when a state is actually attacked and until the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) takes measures to maintain security. A state even when exercising its right to self-defence is bound under the Article to report the situation as soon as possible to the Security Council. Then it is the council in its discretion is empowered to take such collective action as it thinks fit. It was in exercise of its right of self-defence under the Article of the UN Charter that the US first attacked Afghanistan and later put the council on notice that it reserved the right to take military action against other states as well. And accordingly it subsequently attacked Iraq in utter violation of the UNSC Resolution 1441 on the pretext of disarming Saddam Hussein of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), without however recovering any such weapon ever after the occupation of the Iraq. Article 51 of the Charter providing for the right of self-defence has to be read along with Article 2(4) of the Charter which call upon all members to refrain in their international relations from the threat of use of forces against their territorial integrity or political independence of any state in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of United Nations. As to the right to seek extradition of the fugitives taking shelter or hiding in other countries the principles and procedures has been laid down under the International Law, namely there should be an extradition treaty between the states. The state seeking extradition is obligated to furnish a statement of evidence of complicity in respect of the fugitive and the state from whom the extradition is sought has the right to satisfy itself that there does exist sufficient evidence to warrant the extradition in accordance with the treaty of extradition. Furthermore the fugitive in course of trial will receive full justice. Such being the principles of the International Law governing the extradition of fugitive, Mullah Omar's refusal to extradite Osama bin Laden in the absence of the US producing any evidence of his complicity in September 11, 2001 terrorist attack was quite in accordance with the International Law and morality and by no means constituted a legitimate ground for the US to invade Afghanistan. What constitutes international terrorism and what measures must be taken to deal with it, have been the subject matter of decade long debates in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The General Assembly having remained seized of the issue for many years resolved that unless the causes underlying the terrorism were addressed the problem could not be solved. Finally after a series of terrorist acts the UN General Assembly in December 1985 adopted a resolution that unequivocally condemned as criminal all acts, methods and practices of terrorism. This resolution contains several provisions for international cooperation against terrorism. At the same time, however, it reaffirms people's inalienable right to self-determination and the legitimacy of struggle against colonial and racist regime and all other form of alien domination. At the 108th plenary meeting on December 9, 1985, the General Assembly adopted the resolution submitted by the sixth committee in report (A/40/1003 para 19) reaffirming the principle of self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter, the inalienable right to independence of all the people under colonial and racist regimes and all the other forms of alien domination and upholding the legitimacy of their struggle - in particular the struggle for the national liberation. The Declaration of the principles if International Law covering the Friendly Relations and Cooperation among states, in accordance with the UN Charter maintains: "Mindful of the necessity of maintaining and safeguarding the basic rights of the individuals in accordance with the relevant international human right instruments and internationally accepted standards calls upon all the states to fulfil their obligation under the International Law and also to refrain from organising, instigating, assisting or participating in terrorist acts on other state or by acquiescing in activities within their territory directed towards the commission of such acts. The resolution amounts to a two-pronged anti-terrorism measure: (1) Cooperation with other nations in taking action against terrorism. (2) To remove the underlying causes which give rise to terrorism. This UN General Assembly resolution against terrorism has to be read along with its resolution on the right to self-determination, as passed on December 16, 1992 and adopted without vote which reaffirms that "the universal realisation of the right of all people including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination to self-determination as a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights and for the preservation and promotion of human rights." The Resolution 1189 (1998) passed by the UN Security Council after the bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 13, 1998, stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation and to adopt practical and effective measures to prevent combat and eliminate all forms of terrorism affecting international community as a whole. It was for the first time that a reference to the armed struggle against occupation and oppression was completely done away with. The question arises: if this UNSC resolution can supersede or override the earlier General Assembly resolution passed from time to time i.e. from 1972 to 1989? The US unilateralism of pre-emptive military strikes, as incorporated in National Security Strategy has since played havoc and has made the whole world sit up and think about its future intentions. The United Nations General Assembly responded to this threat to the world peace and security posed by the US; in its resolution adopted on December 19, 2002 reaffirming that the states must ensure that any measure taken by them to combat terrorism comply with their obligations under the International Law and are not incompatible with the UN resolutions. In June 2002, the Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) adopted a similar resolution in its American Convention against terrorism. The convention also enunciated that anti-terrorist initiative must be undertaken by the member states in compliance with those existing obligations under the International Law including the international human rights. The writer is a freelance columnist E-mail: