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2015 | Foundation for Fundamental Rights; Do We Not Bleed? International Failure to Redress Pakistani Victims of US Drone Strikes

Despite the alleged capacity of armed drones to carry out “precision strikes”, the United States’ (US) drone attacks on terrorists on Pakistan soil so far have caused a high number of civilian victims. Those victims have been killed, severely injured and mutilated and their homes and livelihood have been destroyed. US (often covert) drone strikes in other countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq have also lead to widespread civilian harm. But where the US has been providing condolence payments to victims in the latter three states, in Pakistan, not a single victim has ever been offered compensation.

This report repeatedly raises the question why Pakistani victims of US drone strikes are left without any remedy. And although a clear answer is not forthcoming, the work explains that international law requires the US and Pakistan to make reparations to the victims of the unlawful US drone strikes in Pakistan. Moreover, the writers put the primary duty to provide redress for the Pakistani drone victims on the Pakistan government for it breaches its constitutional obligation to protect the rights of its citizens against attacks from a foreign state. The work concludes with recommendations and calls –among others- for the establishment of a compensation and accountability mechanism and effective investigations into reported civilian harm of drone strikes.