National sovereignty and territorial integrity of a country are considered to be the key elements of national interest according to the basic and popular concept of modern political philosophy. Therefore, each state tries to protect them at all costs. Despite the fact that drones attacks are blatant violation of Pakistan’s national sovereignty, the attitude and behavior of the people at the helm have been quite apologetic and dubious. There has been a general perception that there was a secret deal between the governments of US and Pakistan for these attacks. It is a fact that Pakistan’s own airbases like Shamsi and Shahbaz had been used for conducting these attacks.

During the recent visit of our PM Nawaz Sharif to US, the Obama administration reportedly turned down the ‘humble request’ made by Pakistan to stop theses drone attacks. To pacify the government of Pakistan, the US administration only announced to release $ 1.6 billion under Coalition Support Fund (CRF). Regrettably, since independence, we have been ever ready to compromise state’s national interests including its sovereignty and territorial integrity in return for peanuts. As far as the Pak-US relations are concerned, the interstate intercourses between the two are not based on the principle of sovereign equality but that of like a master and a slave. From the making of crucial decision of joining the war on terror with America on just a phone call from Washington to the Raymond Davis issue, Salala attack and Abbotabad operation and drone attacks, all speak volumes of this very fact.

After the UN human rights investigator, Ben Emmerson and Amnesty International (AI), now, other countries like China, Brazil and Venezuela are also condemning these drone attacks by saying that they are violating the national sovereignty of Pakistan. Pakistan should also be vocal and practical in protecting its vital national and security interests. During the campaign of recent general election, the PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif vowed to restore the national dignity and pride, but it seems as if he has forgotten all his promises and will accept paycheck again from US.

After the response from Obama, the Sharif government can tackle the drone issues from home. Pakistan should shoot down these drones as well as raise this issue at the UN Security Council. Shooting down the drone in exercise of the inherent right of self defence provided under Article 51 of the UN Charter to all member states is available to us.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, October 26.