Plea against drone attacks: SC upholds LHC's decision
05 September, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Rejecting an appeal against the Lahore High Court's (LHC) October 27, 2009 decision about the dismissal of a petition against US drones attacks, the Supreme Court (SC) has declared that interference by courts in such matters would be violation of one of the foundational principles of the constitution, which envisages a trichotomy of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary.
A two-member bench of the SC, headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, heard the appeal, filed by Wukala Mahaz Barai Tahafaz Dastoor against the LHC's decision to reject its petition against US drones attacks.
Upholding the LHC order on US drones attacks, the bench observed that such issues are neither "justiceable nor they fall within the judicial domain for interference under Article 199 of the constitution".
"Any such interference by the courts would be violation of one of the foundational principles of the constitution... That being so, we do not find the concurrent orders of the learned high court to be exceptionable, warranting interference. The petition lacking in merit is accordingly dismissed and leave refused," the court further said.
The petitioner had requested the court to direct federal government to command the armed forces of Pakistan to defend Pakistan against the external aggression being carried out by the American forces under NATO cover which are in occupation of Afghanistan.
He also prayed that an authoritative declaration be made that the US is an enemy state and for taking all measures provided by the domestic law such as expulsion of its diplomatic personnel and seizure of assets.
"If nuclear arsenal is found to be incapable of protecting Pakistan and instead poses a threat to its survival, respondent federation may be directed either to sell it in international market to the highest bidder or to place it in safe-custody of Iran,." The petitioner added in its plea.
Earlier, the LHC's division bench, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, while rejecting the petition had observed in its order that it is a policy matter in which court could not interfere. He said it was up to the federal government to take a decision in his regard.
The high court observed that no way a court could declare the US an enemy state because it was the responsibility of parliament and government to decide about war against the US.
Pakistani and Indian army exchange fire very often in different sectors and sometimes casualties also occur but on the basis of such incidents the courts cannot declare war against India, observed the court.
The court had also questioned that it is yet to be seen whether Pakistan has capability of hitting drones and how far can "our missile system target accurately".