International Law and Drone Strikes in Pakistan: The Legal and Socio-political Aspects, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

International Law and Drone Strikes in Pakistan

The Legal and Socio-political Aspects, 1st Edition

By Sikander Ahmed Shah


247 pages

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Paperback: 9781138243194
pub: 2016-11-08
Hardback: 9780415828017
pub: 2014-11-24

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While conventional warfare has an established body of legal precedence, the legality of drone strikes by the United States in Pakistan and elsewhere remains ambiguous. This book explores the legal and political issues surrounding the use of drones in Pakistan. Drawing from international treaty law, customary international law, and statistical data on the impact of the strikes, Sikander Ahmed Shah asks whether drone strikes by the United States in Pakistan are in compliance with international humanitarian law. The book questions how international law views the giving of consent between States for military action, and explores what this means for the interaction between sovereignty and consent.

The book goes on to look at the socio-political realities of drone strikes in Pakistan, scrutinizing the impact of drone strikes on both Pakistani politics and US-Pakistan relationships. Topics include the Pakistan army-government relationship, the evolution of international institutions as a result of drone strikes, and the geopolitical dynamics affecting the region.

As a detailed and critical examination of the legal and political challenges presented by drone strikes, this book will be essential to scholars and students of the law of armed conflict, security studies, political science and international relations.


This is an important book. As well as evaluating the illegality of the use of drones in Pakistan, Shah highlights the dangers of facilitating military intervention without consequences, whilst also bringing to the forefront the forgotten voices in this debate, the victims – whose voices have only recently been heard through improved political interest and strategic litigation.

Clive Stafford Smith OBE, founder and Director of Reprieve.

Table of Contents

1. Legality of Drone Strikes 2. Consent and Territorial Sovereignty 3. Drones and Compliance with Human Rights Law 4. Drones Strikes and Compliance with International Humanitarian Law 5. The Social and Political Impact of Drones in Pakistan 6. Conclusion

About the Author

Sikander Ahmed Shah is Associate Professor of Public International Law at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan (LUMS)

About the Series

Routledge Research in the Law of Armed Conflict

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
LAW / Military
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security