Crime of 'aggression'

RAWALPINDI: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced that following the expansion of its jurisdiction it can now prosecute individuals for the crime of ‘aggression’, which is to say: war. However, the United States is yet to ratify the Kampala amendment on ‘aggression’. With that, the UN Security Council may refer a case to the ICC for prosecuting anyone in the world for perpetrating the crime of war.

In an article, David Swanson pointed out that any use of military force, be it a drone attack, amounts to a war. The Kellogg-Briand Pact made war a crime in 1928 and various atrocities became criminal acts at Nuremberg and Tokyo. The UN charter maintained war as a crime, but limited it to an ‘aggressive’ war, and gave immunity to any wars launched with the UN approval. If that is indeed the case, did the UN allow drone attacks on Pakistan? Did Pervez Musharraf have the discretion to allow it? Drone attacks on our territory are a clear violation of our sovereignty as an independent state. Can even a so-called terrorist be killed without a fair trial? Has any other country in the world allowed drone attacks on its people? Perhaps, it is only through awareness and ‘public pressure’ that drone attacks can be tried as a perpetrated war crime in international courts.

Amjed Jaaved

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2018.

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