Pakistan’s legal fight to end the drone war
December 14, 2011 Leave a comment
“You cannot call me lucky,” said Sadaullah Wazir as he recounted the events of a drone strike two years ago on his home in North Waziristan.
The strike killed his two young cousins and an elderly wheelchair-bound uncle. It also severed both of then-15-year-old Sadaullah’s legs and cost him the use of an eye, turning a normal family dinner into an otherworldly nightmare and radically altering the path of his young life.
“I had a dream to be a doctor,” he says. “But now I can’t even walk to school.”
Today, Sadaullah is one of an increasing number of Pakistanis who are seeking justice in the courtroom against the orchestrators of a drone campaign which is believed to have killed thousands of their fellow citizens; a huge number of whom recent studies have shown to be innocent civilians.Over the past three years, the steady buzzing of Predator drones overhead has become a grim and terrifying fact of life for many residents of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP). So pervasive is the sense of fear that doctors there report a huge upsurge in the usage of tranquilisers and sleeping pills among the civilian population. Drone strikes are believed to have been responsible for the deaths of a conservatively estimated 2,283 individuals over this period, and the injuries of thousands more, including Sadaullah.