STUDY OF THE PROTECTION AVAILABLE TO THE CIVILIANS IN THE INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND THE CIVILIAN LOSSES IN THE AFGHAN CONFLICT AMANULLAH SHAH Law College, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, (NWFP) Pakistan ABSTRACT The Geneva Convention IV of 1949 extensively dwells upon protection of civilians during war. The Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions, adopted in 1977 also contains provisions for the protection of civilians from the cruelty of war. Afghanistan was attacked by US led coalition forces on 7th October 2001 in the name of “the Operation Enduring Freedom” commonly known as ‘War against Terrorism’. This paper studies the various provisions of International Humanitarian Law, particularly Geneva Convention IV and Protocol I, which are more concerned with protection of civilian population, prohibit attacking civilian objectives, and insist upon the conflicting-parties to take all pre-cautionary measures to avoid civilian casualties and losses. It will study and analyze the civilian losses and casualties occurred in Afghanistan in the ‘War against Terrorism’; whether the civilian losses were necessary and proportionate to achieving military objectives, whether it were unavoidable and all precautionary measures were taken by the US-led coalition forces; or the Afghan civilians suffered due to care- free, senseless and indiscriminate attacks on the part of the coalition forces. Whether the International Humanitarian Law protecting civilian population was taken into account or not? ______________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION (Hingorani, 1995). Resolution 2444 of the UN General Assembly in 1969 prohibits Ever since the institution of war, it has been indiscriminate warfare which may endanger understood that war is between the armed forces protection of civilian population during war of belligerent states. Civilians who do not (Hingorani, 1995). The Protocol (I) Additional participate in hostilities should be protected to the Geneva Conventions, adopted in 1977 against acts of war. This has been recognized also contains provisions for the protection of from ancient days. Every modern code reiterates civilians from the cruelty of war. protection of civilians from the rigours of war. In 1938 League of Nations resolved to spare and The four Geneva Conventions have received protect civilians from aerial bombardment universal recognition and ratification. All (Hingorani, 1995). Protection for the civilian partners of the coalition against terrorism people at the time of war was felt very including the US are parties to these insistently by the organizations struggling for conventions. The US has not ratified the the protection and enforcement of human rights Protocol but almost all rules of the Protocol I are particularly International Committee of the Red based on the international customary laws of the Cross (ICRC) as a large number of civilian war (HRW Report 2002). people were perished in the world war II by indiscriminate firing and heavy bombardment of This paper will study the various provisions of the civilian population by the fighting forces. To International Humanitarian Law, particularly avoid civilian causalities, in future Geneva Convention IV and Protocol I, which are wars/conflicts, a convention was adopted in more concerned with protection of civilian Geneva in 1949, “Convention (IV) _ relative to population, prohibit attacking civilian the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of objectives, and insist upon the conflicting- War, Geneva, 12 August, 1949”. The Geneva parties to take all pre-cautionary measures to Convention IV of 1949 extensively dwells upon avoid civilian casualties and losses. It will study protection of civilians during war. The 19th and analyze the civilian losses and casualties conference of Red Cross in 1957 adopted the occurred in Afghanistan in “the Operation draft rules for protection of civilians during war Enduring Freedom” commonly known as ‘War A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) 81 against Terrorism’; whether the civilian losses member of armed forces mentioned in the article were necessary and proportionate to achieving 43 of Protocol I. So much importance has been military objectives, whether it were unavoidable given to the status of civilian by article 50 of the and all precautionary measures were taken by Protocol that according to the article in case of the US-led coalition forces; or the Afghan doubt whether a particular person is a civilian or civilians suffered due to care-free, senseless and not he shall be considered as civilian. indiscriminate attacks on the part of the coalition forces. Whether the International Humanitarian Article 48 of the Protocol I defines civilians Law protecting civilian population was taken while article 52 of the same Protocol specifies into account or not? This study is limited to the civilian objects and differentiates it from civilian losses occurred during the period from military objectives. The article says, “Civilian 7th October to 31st December 2001. objects are all objects which are not military objectives”. Military objectives are limited by This research is basically of descriptive nature. this article to ‘those object which by their nature, It has been designed to analyze the violation of location, purpose or use make an effective International Humanitarian Law by the Coalition contribution to military action and whose total or Forces in the operation of Afghanistan. For this partial destruction, capture or neutralization purpose relevant books and relevant ……offer a definite military advantage”. It humanitarian law have been studied. The data further clarifies that “in case of doubt whether are secondary as collected from an object, which is normally dedicated to national/international journals, online materials civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a and various daily newspapers. For the collection house, or other dwelling or school, is being used of data, extensive and intensive study has been to make an effective contribution to military made of daily English newspapers, particularly, action, it shall be presumed not to be so used”. Dawn and The News from September 11, 2001 Provisions of Geneva Convention IV: to May 2002. The provisions of Geneva Convention IV of Definition of Civilian: Article 50 of Protocol I 1949, which provide protection to the civilian of 1977 defines civilians and civilian population population and civilian targets, are given below: in the following words: Article 13: according to article 13 of the Geneva 1. “A civilian is any person who does not Convention IV of 1949, the whole of the belong to one of the categories of persons population of the countries in conflict is referred to in article 4 (A) 1, 2, 3, and 4 of protected against certain consequences of war, the third convention and article 43 of this without any distinction particularly based on Protocol. In case of doubt whether a person race, nationality, religion or political opinion. is a civilian, that person shall be considered This article provides equal protection to all to be a civilian. persons of the conflicting-nations irrespective of 2. The civilian population comprises all their race, nationality, faith or political ideology. persons who are civilians. Article 18: this article protects at all times and in 3. The presence within the civilian population all circumstances whatsoever, all civilian of individuals who do not come within the hospitals organized to give care to the wounded definition of civilians does not deprive the and sick, the infirm and maternity cases. Such population of its civilian character”. civilian hospitals be marked by means of an emblem and cannot be object of attack. While Article 4 of the third Geneva Convention according to article 19, the protection to which referred above in the definition, describes the civilian hospital are entitled under article 18 categories of prisoners of war. Article 43 of this above “shall not cease unless they are used to protocol referred above specifies armed forces commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts of the conflicting parties. It means, in short, that harmful to the enemy”. It is further clarified that a civilian is any person who is neither prisoner mere treatment or nursing of “sick or wounded of war under article 4 of third convention nor a members of the armed forces” in these hospitals 82 A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) “shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the hostilities, in addition to the rules concerning enemy”. If any act harmful to the enemy is humanitarian protection contained in the fourth committed, the protection given under article 18 convention as well as other rules of international and 19 “may cease only after due warning has law. The provisions of Protocol I regarding been given…. a reasonable time limit and after protection of civilian population are enumerated such warning has remained unheeded”. Article below. 20 of Geneva convention IV of 1949 gives protection to persons regularly and solely Article 48 of the Protocol I emphasizes upon the engaged in the operation and administration of belligerent parties to “distinguish between the civilian hospitals, including the personnel civilian population and combatants and between engaged in the search of, removal and civilian objects and military objects and transporting of, and earning for wounded and according shall direct their operations only sick civilian, the infirm and maternity cases. against military objectives”. Article 51 declares Where as Article 21 gives protection to conveys that “civilian population as such, as well as of vehicles or hospital trains on land or vessels individual civilians, shall not be the object of on sea conveying wounded and sick civilians, attack”. This protection shall be enjoyed by the the infirm and maternity cases. civilians, “unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities”. The same article also According to article 27, all persons protected by prohibits “attacks against the civilian population the Geneva Convention IV “are entitled, in all or civilians by way of reprisals” or circumstances, to respect for their persons their “indiscriminate attacks”. Where as article 52 of honour, their family rights, their religious the Protocol prohibits attacking civilian objects convictions and practices, and their manners and in very clear words saying, “Civilian objects customs. They shall at all times be humanely shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals.” treated and shall be protected especially against Article 53 of the Protocol I prohibits attacks all acts of violence or threats thereof and against against cultural property and places of worship. insult and public curiosity”. This article provides It also prohibits the use of such objects in especial protection to women “against any attack support of the military effort. on their honour in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent Article 54: this article prohibits attack assault”. According to article 33, a protected against, destruction or removal of “objects person may not be punished for an offence, indispensable to the survival of the civilian which he or she has not personally committed. population, such as food stuffs, agricultural This article prohibits collective penalties, all areas for the production of food stuffs, crops, measures of intimidation and reprisals against livestock, livestock, drinking water protected persons and their property. installations”. Article 29 of the Convention IV presents the Article 55 provides protection to the natural concept of collective responsibility. “The party environment. It says that care shall be taken in to the conflict in whose hands protected persons warfare to protect the natural environment may be, is responsible for the treatment against widespread, long term and severe accorded to them by its agents irrespective of damage. Attacks against the natural environment any individual responsibility which may be by way of reprisals are also prohibited. incurred”. International humanitarian law protects civilians, Protection of Civilians under Protocol I civilian population and civilian objects not only against the direct attacks of the adversary, but it Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva also insists upon the conflicting-parties to take Conventions contains some provisions relating precautionary measures to avoid civilian losses. to the protection of civilians and civilian objects It also provides some guidelines to the parties in on land, at sea or in the air against the effects of the conflict in this regard. Article 57 of the A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) 83 Protocol I is about precautions in attacks. It says no many military objectives and cites. “in the conduct of military operations, constant Afghanistan is a poor and backward country and care shall be taken to spare the civilian all important buildings, cites and installations population, civilians and civilian objects”. With have been completely or partially damaged respect to attacks, it says “those who plan or either in the war against the Soviet occupation in decide upon an attack shall; 1979 or in the civil war since the Soviet • do everything feasible to verify that the withdrawal in 1989. Yet this war-ravaged objectives to be attacked are neither civilians country was considered strong enough to be nor civilian objects and are not subject to heavily bombed for several months by the super special protection but are military power of the world. objectives; • take all feasible precaution in choice of Three days after strikes began the US Defense means and methods of attack with a view to Secretary, Rumsfeld announced that the US had avoiding and in any event minimizing, achieved “air superiority” over Afghanistan - incidental loss or civilian life, injury to over air force, which could not even leave the civilians and damage to civilian objects; ground. The question is what were the “allies” • refrain from deciding to launch any attack bombing after achieving air superiority? The UN which may be expected to cause incidental mine-clearing staff, the shepherds and their loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, families in the village, the Red Cross food damage to civilian objects”. storages in Kabul, the residents of Kandahar, the schools, the mosques, the hospitals, the trucks It further states “an attack shall be cancelled or full of terrified refugees. Not a single day passed suspended if it becomes apparent that the without civilian casualty or injury. The US objective is not a military one or is subject to bombing of Afghanistan has left unknown special protection or that the attack may be number of civilians dead or injured. The list of expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, incidents where non-military targets were hit by injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects”. US bombs/missiles is very lengthy but only some of them are here described. Analyses of the Afghanistan Situation On the third day of the operation, i.e. 9th October After going through the relevant provisions of 2001, office of an UN-backed de-mining agency the Geneva Convention IV and Protocol I which in Kabul was bombed, killing four security dwell upon the protection of the civilians, guards (The News Oct: 11, 2001). US expressed civilian population and civilian objects, the ‘war regret only after UN protest. against terrorism’ in Afghanistan is analyzed and studied in the light of these provisions; Kadam, a village of few hundred inhabitants whether the provisions protecting civilians were near Jalalabad (Eastern Afghanistan) was totally respected and followed by the coalition forces or devastated by US bombers on Oct. 11, 2001 not; whether precautionary measures as required (The News Oct: 12, 2001). Nearly all the by international law to avoid civilian losses, villagers were dead, the wounded, mostly were taken or not; whether the civilian losses children and infants were taken to hospitals in and casualties happened due to unavoidable Jalalabad, according to the report of Al-Jazeera circumstances or due to senseless indiscriminate TV correspondent in Kabul. At least 160 attacks and excessive use of weapons. civilians were deed (The News Oct: 14, 2001). An AFP reporter who visited the remote village The coalition forces started operation against saw dozens of collapsed houses, one unexploded Afghanistan on 7th Oct. 2001 with aerial massive bomb and large number of fresh graves (The bombardments and cruise missiles. From the News Oct: 25, 2001). start of the campaign US attack had targeted power plant, telecommunications’ facilities and On Oct 13, US bomb missed a target at Kabul broadcasting infrastructure, as Afghanistan had airport and struck a nearby village, killing at 84 A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) least four people (The News Oct: 14, 2001). A village in Kandahar identified as Chukar The Pentagon confirmed that the bomb had gone Kariz was hit by US bombs on Oct. 23, killing off course due to technical error. about 93 civilians including 18 members of one family according to the report of Qatar’s al- Red Cross warehouses: US bombs hit Jazeera television (The News Oct: 24, 2001). warehouses of ICRC in Kabul, on October 16, The 18 family members who died in the attack destroying supplies and injuring at least one had fled Kandahar for safety in the village worker. The compound had an emblem of large following US military strikes on the city. The Red Cross on the roof. After protest from the attack on the said village was later on confirmed Red Cross the US admitted dropping a 1,000 by the press media also (The News Oct: 25, pounds bomb close to the warehouse, saying 2001). On Oct.23, 2001 the representative of UN Taliban vehicles were in the area. A warehouse in Kabul also accused the coalition forces of of the World Food Program in Kabul was also attacking civilian targets and killing civilians. damaged in raids (The News Oct: 17, 2001). Human Rights Watch asked US to stop killing of On October 18, six houses were destroyed by the innocent afghan civilians. All of the witnesses US bombs in the Kalae Zaman Khan area of interviewed by HRW were adamant that there Kabul. Five members of the same family were were no Taliban or Al-Qaida positions in the among the casualty, witnesses and relatives told area of the attack (Chukar Kariz), which is in a AFP at the scene (The News Oct: 19, 2001). remote rural area of Afghanistan (The News Other residential areas were also struck on the Oct: 31, 2001). same day. Mosque bombing: according to the United On Oct 21, a US bomb landed on the neighbour Nations’ report, on Oct. 24, a mosque was hit by hood of Parod Gajaded in the Khair Khana US bombs in a military camp in the Western district of North Eastern Kabul, killing ten Afghan city Herat and a nearby village was also people, nine of them from the same extended targeted during attacks on the city (The News family; witnesses told an AFP reporter who Oct: 25, 2001). Almost all major cities had visited the scene shortly after the bombing. On become virtual ghost towns due to fear of the the same date in another incident, convey of air-strikes. UN spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker refugees was attacked. At least 20 civilian told a press conference that the mosque was in including nine children, were killed when the the same compound where hospital was hit tractor and trailer were bombed on which they earlier by the US air force. where fleeing US attacks on the southern town of Tirinkot (The News Oct: 22, 2001). Similar ICRC warehouses: There were five warehouses incidents were also happened near Kandahar and managed and controlled by ICRC for the storage Jalalabad both on October 17. of food ad cooking oil intended for widows and disabled people, according to Mario Musa, Hospital bombing: At least 100 civilians mostly ICRC spokesman. One warehouse was lost in patients were killed and score of others injured the US attack on Oct, 16 (mentioned above). in the bombing of a hospital in Heart city on Three out of the remaining four warehouses Oct. 22, according to the UN representative (The were destroyed by the US bombers on Oct, 26. News Oct: 23, 2001). The US acknowledged a According to the spokesman two warehouses bomb went astray over the city and might have were directly hit by bombs or missiles and the struck an old people’s house. One has to bear in third was destroyed in the fire (The News Oct: mind that there is no concept of old people’s 27, 2001). This was second attack on the ICRC houses in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. It is warehouses since the operation started on Oct. 7. very disappointing that the super power of the On October 28, US bombed Ghanikhil, civilian world was giving false statement to the worlds town of the Northern Allince, killing 13 civilians and had no courage to admit its mistakes and including a father and his 7 children. (Universal blunders. Community of Friends). A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) 85 On November 13, about 100 Taliban were killed confirmed dead in Pacheragam district Jalalabad in school. The UN coordinator’s office only (The News Dec. 3, 2001). According to spokeswomen Stephanie Bunker told to press Dawn’s report (Dec. 4, 2001) nearly 100 conference on Nov.13 that Northern Alliance civilians were and 200 wounded in three nights (partner of the collation) forces had killed more of US air strikes near Jalalabad, quoting the than 100 young Taliban recruits hiding in a provincial military chief commander Hajji school in Mazar-i-Sharif. Al-Jazeera TV office Mohammad Zaman. United Nations Office of in Kabul was bombed by US warplanes on the Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance same date (Nov.13), hours before Northern (UNOCHA) confirmed the reports of civilian Alliance forces entered the Afghan capital, killings in Tora Bora, and in and around Kabul (Dawn, Nov:14, 2001). The Qatar’s Kandahar due to massive coalition bombing in satellite station had angered some in Washington the beginning of December, 2001 (The News by broadcasting pre-tapped speeches of Osama Dec.4, 2001). Hajji Din Mohammad elder bin Laden denouncing America. According to brother of Hajji Abdul Qadeer (the then BBC world service correspondent William Governor of Nangarhar province of Reeve, the US had scored a direct hit on the Afghanistan) – criticizing US bombing of offices of the Qatar based TV station Al-Jazeera, Jalalabad said that there was no justification of leading to speculation that the channel had been pounding the areas, which were under the targeted deliberately because of its contacts with control of anti-Taliban forces that are Taliban and Osama bin Laden. A presenter on cooperating with the US to ascertain hideouts of BBC world, Nik Gowing’s argument was that the alleged terrorists. “The US forces are Al-Jazeera’s only crime was that it was “bearing targeting villages and civilians in Jalalabad, witness” to events that the US wanted to which is wrong” he added (The News Dec.3, suppress (Dawn, Nov:21, 2001). He further said 2001). that there was no clear evidence that Al-Jazeera directly supported the Taliban - simply that it On December 9 night, bombing by US enjoyed greater access than other station. warplanes killed 16 civilians in the neighboring Certainly Al Jazeera reflects a certain cultural Paktika province that also borders Pakistan. traditions, but only in the same way as CNN Eyewitnesses who reached Peshawar said approaches stories from a western perspective. Paktika’s provincial capital, Sharana and Maskhel village sited about 20 kilometers away United Nations Mine Action Progammes sub were bombed by at least two jets. The losses office in Kandahar was hit during US aerial were higher in Maskhel where four men sitting stakes on the city on Nov. 16. Responding to the in “Etkaf” in the Saqawa mosque were among question whether the UN had given information those killed. An entire family comprising to the US about the location of its building in Ghulam shah, his wife and four children was Afghanistan the UN coordination office wiped out in the bombing raid (The News spokesperson Stephanie Bunker said that all the Dec.10, 2001). Earlier another mosque was hit sites of the UN were well marked. On the same on the outskirts of Khost town killing over two night a mosque and the Taliban foreign ministry dozens of the faithful when the US warplanes building were destroyed in heavy US bombing struck in a bid to eliminate a former Taliban of Kandahar, killing 11 civilians and more than minister and known Mujahidden commander 25 persons were injured (Dawn, Nov:17, 2001). Jalal ud din Haqqani (Yusafzai, 2001). Among the dead were several young Taliban below the Civilian bombing in Kandahar and Jalalabad age of 15 studying at a nearby madressa to learn the Holy Quran by heart. The raid took place More than 75 civilians including women and when the mosque was full during the late children were reported dead and scores of others evening Isha’a and Taraweeh prayers (as it was injured in air strikes by US-Anglo warplanes on month of Ramazan). In the words of Rahimullah Kandahar and Jalalabad on the night between 1st Yousafzai, “Having run out of military targets in and 2nd December. As many as 45 persons were Afghanistan, the US warplanes wanting to get 86 A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) ride of their payloads, have bombed vehicles On Dec. 29 in an air raid on Niazi Qala, a village carrying civilians and flattened village that have in Paktia, more than 100 civilians were killed. nothing to do with the Taliban or Al-Qaeda Arab The pentagon claimed it had hit a Taliban fighters.” ammunition depot. Villagers, however said that many of the people killed, including women and The US aerial strikes that were begun on children, had congregated for a wedding. October 7, 2001 continued for several months, (Bearak, February 10, 2002). displaced hundreds of thousands of people, exposing them to cold and hunger and depriving “We’ve got about 300 incidents in our database, them of dignity. Amidst heavy snowfall, and I’d say about a third involve some civilian thousands of people living in the foothills of casualties that would be worth taking a second Tora Bora and Spina Shaga Mountains had left look at,” said Mr. Arkin, the Human Rights their homes owing to severe round the clock Watch adviser, who is also an adjunct Professor bombing by the coalition forces. Due to the at the US Air Force’s School of Advanced absence of United Nations officials in eastern Airpower Studies. (Bearak, February 10, 2002). Afghanistan, these new internally displaced The first systematic independent study has been persons along with the old ones in the region carried out into civilian casualties in numbering at least 3, 00,000, were “sleeping in Afghanistan by Mare Herold, a US economics the open air in sub zero temperatures” without professor at the University of New Hampshire. any hope of assistance in term of food, shelter or Based on corroborated reports from aid health. Meanwhile WHO officials reported that agencies, the UN, eye witnesses, TV stations, the Pacheragam health clinic in the area had newspapers and news agencies around the been destroyed by the coalition forces heavy world, Herold estimates that at least 3, 767 bombardment of the area, and the remaining civilians were killed by US bombs between Oct. clinic in the region were difficult to access (The 7 and Dec. 10 (Dawn Dec. 21, 2001). That is an News Dec. 14, 2001). average of 62 innocent deaths a day and an even higher figure than the 3234 now thought to have Sixty five people were killed on Dec. 20 when been killed in New York and Washington on US jets bombed a convoy of Afghan elders, September 11. According to a Pennsylvania tribal chiefs and commanders heading for the nonprofit organization – Universal Community inauguration ceremony of Afghanistan’s new of Friends- the estimate of civilian losses in government in Kabul. Warplanes attacked the Afghanistan is up to 4000, (January 29th 2002). vehicles on a road at Sato Kandaw, 25 Kms south of Gerdez, the capital of Paktia province. Of course, Herald’s total is only an estimate. But According to Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) according to a British journalist Seumas Milne fourteen vehicles in the convoy were totally (Dec. 2001) what is impressive about Herold's destroyed and several Afghan elders, tribal work is not only the meticulous cross checking, chiefs and commanders were among the victims but the conservative assumptions he applies to of the killings (Dawn Dec.22, 2001). each reported incidents. The figure does not include those who died later of bomb injuries, Dozens of Afghan civilians were Killed in air nor those killed after Dec. 10, 2001, nor those strikes today when a village was intentionally who have died from cold and hunger because bombed by the US on December 27th , 2001. The they were forced to become refugees by the villagers said there were no Al Qaida there and bombardments. It dos not include military deaths could not understand why they targeted. (estimated by some analysts to be upwards of Rumsfield said they suspected that Al Qaida 10,000); or those prisoners who were were there. He said Osama bin Laden is slaughtered in Mazar-I-Sharif, Qala-i-Jangi, responsible for the civilian deaths. (Universal Kandahar airport and elsewhere. Community of Friends). In the violation of the Geneva Convention IV, 1949 and the Protocol I, 1977, the US-led A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) 87 collation did not take any precautionary After complete destruction of Chowkar-Karez measures for the protection of the civilian village in air strikes, the Human Rights Watch population. Consequently, a large number of released a report (Oct. 2001), raising a question, civilian casualties including women and children “If there were military targets in the area, we occurred. The United Nations repeatedly would like to know what they were”? Asia sounded an alarm over the use of cluster bombs Director of HRW, Sidney Jones further said, by American aircraft attacking Afghanistan. The “None of the witnesses interviewed by Human UN reported of the cluster bomb – a weapon Rights Watch knew of Taliban or Al-Qaida used by American forces in every war since positions in the area of the attack”. Vietnam that has frequently caused civilian deaths, was the latest of a growing number of According to Sidhu (Dec. 2001), an Indian accounts of bomb going astray and causing journalist “The taking of innocent lives be they civilian casualties – cluster bombs scatter 200 American, Indian, Pakistani, Palestinian, Israeli “bomblets” over a wide area but up to a quarter or Afghani- cannot be justified on any ground fail to explode, posing a long-term threat to whatsoever.” The terrorist attacks in New York civilians. US jets, including B-52s have dropped and Washington be condemned in the most vivid more than 600 cluster bombs on Afghanistan, terms and similarly the mindless bombardment the Pentagon says (Dawn Dec. 12, 2001). of the civilian targets in Afghanistan also needs According to international demining expert, Dan condemnation. Steele (Oct. 2001) a British Kelly, (2001) an estimated 24,000 unexploded Journalist has very beautifully described the bomblets are lying on Afghan soil, posing a feelings of helplessness of the Afghan people in deadly hazard to civilians and children in the face of massive and indiscriminate aerial particular. “Bomblets are not like a mine that bombardments by the US and British forces. will probably blow off a limb or blind you – “Few seem able to put themselves in the place of these things will kill or burn people up,” he the people of Kabul and Kandahar, having the added. hellish thunder and feeling of the earthquake like vibration of missiles and bombs exploring CONCLUSIONS around them. They are offered enduring freedom but are having only enduring terror”. Three days after strikes began; the US defense secretary announced that the US had “air If the attacks on the American symbols of superiority” over Afghanistan – over an air force economic and military might in New York and which could not even leave the ground. The Washington were senseless and sewage, equally question is why the bombing of the cities was mindless has been the war against terrorism, continuously carried on? In the earlier days of which the Bush administration unleashed with the operation, the front line of Taliban brutal fury, leaving thousands of innocent particularly north of Kabul was spared, just to Afghan civilians dead and homeless. Tragic delay the entrance of the Northern Alliance into though the enormous loss of life in New York the capital. In the meanwhile targets close to was (3,234 by find count); it hardly justified the innocent civilians and civilian targets were hit devastation of Afghanistan and the massive by US bombers. How such bombing can be killing of the Afghans. In the words of David justified? What the US was bombing? The UN Corn (December, 2001), the Afghan civilians mine-clearing staff, the shepherds and their struck by US bombs are innocent victims not families, the defenseless villages of awe-stricken unlike those Americans killed or injured on civilians, the Red Cross warehouses, the mosque September 11. full of praying Afghans, trucks full of terrified refuges etc. Galloway (2001) a British MP The price in blood, for America’s war against termed this operation as “the slaughter of the terror, has been paid not by Britain nor by the world’s poorest by the world’s richest”. US, nor even by the Taliban and al-Qaida leaders held responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, but by ordinary Afghans, who had nothing 88 A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) whatever to do with the atrocities, did not elect created funds for the American survivors of the the Taliban who ruled over them and had no say Sept: 11 attacks. They must do the same for in the decision to give house to Osama bin Afghans. Laden and his friends. In the words of Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali (2002), the Ex-Foreign Minister REFERENCES: of Pakistan “The Afghan nation paid an awesome price for the follies of its naive Taliban Ali, Sardar Aseff Ahmed: (March 16, 2002) “Will rulers. Probably 20 Afghans were pulverized for US be weary of war?” Dawn (Daily Newspaper) every American life lost on September 11, in Karachi. this unequal commerce of death, submissive American Red Cross: “Geneva Conventions.” partner”. Available at; www.redcross.org After going through the above study one comes Amnesty International Memorandum to the US to the conclusion that US led forces had grossly Government – April 15, 2002. Available at; violated all relevant provisions of the www.amnesty.usa.org International Humanitarian Law particularly Geneva Convention IV in the Operation ANSWER* Coalition: “US violates Geneva Enduring Freedom. “Suddenly after Conventions:” Feb. 6, 2002. Available at 11September, we went mad. We bombed www.answercoalition.org (*. ANSWER stand for: Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.) Afghan villages into rubble, along with their inhabitants” said an American journalist – Bearak, Barry: ( February 10, 2002) New York Robert Fisk-(November 29, 2001). He Times. Available at, www.nytimes.com continued, “When people with yellow or black or brown skin, with Communist or Islamic or Campbell, Kurt. M: (2002) “Globalization First Nationalist credentials, murder their prisoners or War?” Washington Quarterly Winter Vol.25 No.1 carpet bomb villages to kill their enemies or set (USA). death squad courts, they must be condemned by the US, the European Union, the United Nations Convention (IV) Protection of Civilian Persons in and the “civilized” world. We are masters of Time of War, Geneva, 12 August, 1949 (Full Text). Available at: www.icrc.org Human Rights, the Liberals, the great and good Corn, David: (Dec: 23, 2001) “To Make Amends for who can preach to the impoverished masses. But Errant Bombs:” Available at: when our people are murdered – then we tear up www.universalfriends.org every piece of human rights legislation, sendoff the B-52s in the direction of the impoverished DAWN (Daily Newspaper) Karachi: November 14, masses and set out to murder our enemies.” The 17, 21, 2001; December 3, 4, 12, 21, 22 2001. more appropriate word would be “the self declared enemy” without any proof and giving Editorials of DAWN , (Daily Newspaper) Karachi: no opportunity to diplomatic measure or Travesty of Justice – Nov: 17, 2001. peaceful resolution of the dispute through the The Year that Changed the World – Dec: 31, 2001. United Nations. Editorials of The NEWS, (Daily Newspaper) If the whole world’s remorse and regrets could Islamabad: not lessen Americans’ pain at the loss of innocent lives in New York and Washington, the Destroying the ruins – Oct: 12, 2001. regrets of US officials can certainly not diminish Counting the Losses – Oct: 15, 2001. the pain of the Afghans. So the United States Stop killing Civilians – Oct: 25, 2001. ought to establish a fund that specifically makes payments to Afghan civilians whose families, Fisk, Robert: (Nov: 29, 2001) “Why Bomb this bodies, homes or business have been shattered Starving People?” - Dawn (Daily Newspaper) Karachi. by US air strikes. It is the only available means to redress injury. American has generously A. Shah, Gomal university Journal of Research, 22: 80-89 (2006) 89 Golloway, George: (Oct: 22, 2001) “We Will Not be “Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of Silenced” – The News, (Daily Newspaper) 12 Aug: 1949 and relating to the Protections of Islamabad. Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol-I) 8th June, 1977.” Available at: www.icrc.org Human Rights Watch Reports: Afghanistan: New Civilians Deaths Due to US Bombing: Quetta, Rady, Faiza; (January 2002) “And What About Pakistan, Oct. 30, 2001. Geneva Conventions?” Al-Ahram Weekly, (17 – 23 Jan.) Cairo (Egypt). Afghanistan: Three Afghan Commanders should be prosecuted, New York Dec: 3.2001. Available at: Sidhu, W Pal S: (Dec. 14, 2001) “Principles of a Just www.hrw.org War” – The News Islamabad. Steele, Jonathan: (Oct. 18, 2001) “A Shameful Hingorani, R.C: (1995) (i) Humanitarian Law: and (ii) Protection of Children During Armed Conflict; in Silence as the Bombs Drop” – The News, Islamabad. R.C. Hingorani’s (Ed) Humanitarian Law, New Taylor, Richard Norton: (Dec. 22, 2001) “Move to Delhi, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. Ban cluster Bombs” – Dawn Karachi. “International Humanitarian Law:” Available at: www.icrc.org “Universal Community of Friends” (a Pennsylvania nonprofit organization} available at Jakovljevic, Bosko: (1995) The Red Cross and www.universalfriends.org Human Rights: in R.C. Hingorani’s (Ed) Walt, Stephen M: (2002) “Beyond Bin Laden:” Humanitarian Law, New Delhi, Oxford & IBH International Security, Winter (2001 – 02) Vol. 26 Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. No.3 (USA). Khan, Muhammad Ejaz: (Dec. 10, 2001) “Afghan Yusufzai, Rahimullah: (2001): “Warplanes Now Children, Women real Victims of US, Allies’ Targeting Civilians” – The News, Dec. 12, 2001, Attacks” – The News, Islamabad. Islamabad. Loeb, Vernon: (March 28, 2002) “Afghan War a Lab “Tora Bora Attackers Lack Spirit – The News Dec. for US Innovation” – Dawn, Karachi. 14, 2001, Islamabad. Miline,Seumas: (2001): “A Hollow Victory in Afghanistan” – Dawn Nov. 24, 2001 Karachi “Innocent Deaths in Coward’s War” – Dawn Dec.21, 2001. Karachi.
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