Osama Bin Laden killed in Pakistan – Legal aspects of the Operation:
Published By ejaz007 on 2011-06-21 43 Views
Some days back I had written an article about Osama Bin Laden killed in Pakistan in which I had covered one aspect of the operation and said that shall be writing further articles to cover other aspects as well. Today I am writing what could be considered as part two in which I shall try to summarize whether this US operations violated Pakistan’s sovereignty and should be considered an act of aggression or not.
To the best of my knowledge US constitution or law does not authorize US forces to conduct operations outside the US border without either declaring a state of war against that country or obtaining authorization from UN for action against that country or possibly US congress authorizing President to conduct an operation in a specific country. As per what I have read from different sources either this been print media or electronic media none of these conditions prevailed when US forces conducted the operation inside Pakistan. In-fact US constitution only authorizes US forces to protect US from aggression both foreign and domestic. Although US President had already stated that US shall take action unilaterally whenever intelligence pointed to the presence of high profile Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan this statement does not have any legal justification. US President does not have any authority in Pakistan and Pakistan had not authorized any such operation.
Now let’s see what Pakistan’s constitution says about foreign military forces entering without prior permission and conducting military operations. Pakistan’s constitution permits only state to have military and all other militias formed by individuals, parties or groups are illegal. Similarly only armed forces of Pakistan are authorized to conduct operations inside Pakistan. Operations by other militias or states are regarded as acts of war. Armed forces are permitted and authorized to respond to these attacks and stop them with whatever means they have at their disposal. Now why Pakistan armed forces did not respond is another issue and not discussed here. Different experts appearing on Pakistani media have also stated that the operation was a violation of the sovereignty of the Pakistan and mounts to an act of aggression.
Considering the above it is clear that the US operation violated Pakistan’s sovereignty and if read as is stated in Pakistan’s constitution mounts to an act of aggression or perhaps war.