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Pakistan, IEDs and the law: an overview

It is a hard truth that IEDs have become an increasing weapon of choice in the hands of terrorists active in Pakistan. In the last five years, between 2011 and 2015, at least 13,471 people were killed or injured by them, with 10,868 of these being civilians (over 80%). During that time there were at least 805 incidents – hitting a peak of 211 attacks in 2013.

The breakdown of the types of IEDs show that the most commonly used IED – where reported – was that of remotely detonated IEDs (accounting for 57% of known usage). This was followed by suicide attacks (accounting for some 29% of attacks when known). In terms of lethality, the most harmful IED in Pakistan between 2011 and 2015 was the suicide attack, accounting for 53% of all casualties where the IED type was known. This was followed by remote detonation causing 35% of casualties where the IED type was known.

Suicide attacks in Pakistan certainly have been a source of major concern. At least 4,248 people were killed or injured in some 109 suicide attacks between 2011 and 2015, with the numbers of killed or wounded peaking at 1,144 in 2013.

Markets, places of worship, road sides and public gatherings saw the greatest number of attacks, with over 2,751 casualties in market places alone in the last five years.

The perpetrators of these attacks combines to provide a long and depressing list, including the al-Mukhtar Army, the Balock Liberation Army, Lashkar-e-Islam, Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-e-Baluchistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Momin Afridi group, Ansarul Islam Mujahideen, United Baloch Liberation Army, Ahraru Hind, Mast Gul militant group, ISIS, Jamaatul Ahrar and Jundullah. At least 14 different groups involved in the indiscriminate use of IEDs against civilians in Pakistan.

And this is not just a Pakistan problem for Pakistan. It is also a Pakistan problem for Afghanistan – huge quantities of materials produced in Pakistan are used in the manufacture of IEDs in Afghanistan. The problem – both at home and abroad – is well noted but there are few legal mechanisms in place to programmatically help significantly reduce the burden of IEDs on Pakistan’s population. To begin to ensure that the rule of law is properly adhered to there first needs to be an understanding of what that law is.

Doing this requires a thorough examination of existing laws and protocols that might apply – nationally, regionally and internationally – to address the impact of IEDs throughout Pakistan and beyond.

The relevant framework here is embedded within four tiers of legal governance: international, national, provincial and regional. Under each tier, there is often a three-pronged approach: prevention of IED attacks, appropriate response to and monitoring of IED attacks and adequate reparations for victims. And at the very heart of this framework lies two chambers: the guiding principle of placing the victim first and the need for national security.

What follows is an overview of the current situation in the law regarding IEDs in Pakistan and some observations as to how further CIED efforts there.

The International Framework
International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) are both relevant bodies of law that make up the international legal framework. The latter applies when a state is in a situation of armed conflict.

International Humanitarian Law
Pakistan is a signatory to the Geneva and Hague Conventions that make up IHL, which prohibits the use of IEDs when significant civilian harm is likely.

#Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
For instance, Pakistan signed and ratified CCW on 26 January 1982 and 1 April 1985[i] respectively without any reservations. CCW prohibits the use of mines and emphasise clearing remnants of war. Pakistan still manufactures and stockpiles landmines and cluster munitions (which de facto become landmines if unexploded). The same applies to victim-operated IEDs, which are considered de facto anti-personnel landmines in the eyes of the law, sharing their principal function and threat of detonating under the foot pressure of a person without distinction.[ii]

#Geneva Convention Protocol I
This protocol also considers the use of suicide attacks, in themselves not illegal (for example if used against combatants in an armed conflict), but if used against civilians then the perpetrator risks being prosecuted as a war criminal. This is because they:

  • Deliberately target civilians (Article 51);
  • They are indiscriminate and disproportionate in nature, therefore they cannot distinguish between civilians and combatants (Article 48);

The practice may involve perfidy (pretending to be a civilian, in order to kill or wound) (Article 37)

#Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 1998
The principle of command responsibility, dictates that those ordering the commission of war crimes or crimes against humanity can also be held criminally responsible for their commission. The same applies to those ordering suicide bombers.

#Customary International Law
Using children as suicide bombers is contrary to their protection under IHL as they are protected from being used in hostilities when under the age of 15.

Required steps to prevent IED attacks
At the UN level, IED preventative approaches often take the approach towards the dismantling of terror networks/ irregular armed groups and halting the movement of precursors used in IEDs.

Various resolutions cover IEDs particularly in the context of their threat in Afghanistan and it is of merit to look at them when considering their implementation in Pakistan.

#Resolution 2274[iii]
The resolution was passed in 2016, and was aimed at extending the mandate of UNAMA in Afghanistan until 17 March 2017. UNAMA also has a field presence in Pakistan.

The preamble of the resolution supports banning ammonium nitrate based fertiliser and urges regulations for control of explosive materials and its raw materials and components that can be used to manufacture IEDs. Furthermore, the operational clause 33 also emphasises the need to disrupt transfer of IED components to Afghanistan that can facilitate the Taliban, the Haqqani Network or other extremist groups, and to develop national strategies to do so.

This resolution was passed by the Security Council with a voting record of 15 to 0 and therefore is a strong resolution. This means that states should be developing national strategies and increasing the capacity of their relevant departments, including the implementation of legislation if none already exists.

In a discussion of the resolution, Pakistan admitted that peace in Afghanistan was in its interest and therefore, they should be making all attempts to stabilise the country.

#Resolution 2253[iv] and #Resolution 1267[v]
Resolution 2253 expands the framework of applicable sanctions to include Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL). It is essentially an expansion on Resolution 1267 on the situation in Afghanistan, which was adopted in 1999. That resolution acknowledged Afghanistan as a shelter and training ground for terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. It also acknowledged that all financial activity should be suspended with the Taliban/Islamic Republic of Afghanistan until those activities ceased.

Resolution 2253 also asks states to take appropriate measures to promote enhanced vigilance by their nationals to prevent such terror networks from obtaining, handling, storing, using or seeking access to all types of explosives or raw materials that could be used in their manufacture. References are made in the preamble, operational clause 2c and operational clause 3.

Resolution 2253 is a strongly worded, unanimously agreed Security Council Resolution and obligates UN member states to adhere to its operational clauses. It, in no uncertain terms, considers any act that facilitates the activity of the terrorist groups as an act of association and makes states liable to sanctions. While this resolution is focused heavily on Al Qaeda and ISIL and references the Middle East as the main context in which they have drafted and adopted the new resolution, its recollection and contextualisation with past resolutions including 1267, and as such demonstrates its wider applicability.

#Resolution 1265[vi]
Resolution 1265 is one relevant to the protection of civilians during armed conflict. It prohibits the targeting of civilians and in operational clause 18 specifically refers to stockpiling, production and transfer of weapons/devices that will have excessively injurious/ indiscriminate effect. It makes specific reference to the Mine Ban Treaty, which Pakistan is not party to with reports implicating Pakistan as still stockpiling millions of landmines[vii].

#Afghanistan Resolution[viii]
The Afghanistan Resolution[ix] was drafted in recognition of the significant threat posed by IEDs to civilians, UN personnel and the military. There is specific reference to the effects IEDs have had on Afghanistan. Most resolutions relating to terrorism, weapons and conflict are adopted under the Security Council. This resolution has been drafted under the General Assembly and GA resolution tends to only be binding when it refers to internal UN matters.

It does provide a framework, however, covering the role of businesses, preventing access to explosives or their components, securing conventional stockpiles and member state engagement. The resolution is a possible starting point for further development.

#Assistance in Mine Action Resolution[x]
In similar timing to the Afghanistan resolution, another GA resolution was adopted in December 2015. Resolution A/70/80 comprehensively covered the assistance that states should be giving to other states that are affected or have been affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war including IEDs. This resolution focuses on co-operation between states, encouraging those with the capacity to do so to facilitate other states in mine clearance and other activities that would reduce the harm caused by these weapons. Particularly useful in this resolution are paragraphs 8-11, which are victim-centric in their guidelines. They reference the need to take consideration of vulnerable groups such as those with disabilities, of a vulnerable age, women, internally displaced persons and refugees. They re-emphasise the need for humanitarian assistance and rehabilitation. They also encourage capacity building for victim assistance. This is not a legally binding resolution but another useful framework for guidance.

Measures to be applied when IED attacks do occur
Recording casualties
One key measure underrepresented when IED attacks occur, is the accurate counting of the dead. This is an international legal obligation under IHL but even during armed conflict, military personnel are those counted and civilian deaths are often overlooked or manipulated.

An Oxford research group[xi] found grounding in a series of international legal instruments spanning international humanitarian law, international human rights law and customary international law, which dictates that states are obliged to count casualties in situations of armed conflict.

The process is incredibly important: for accountability as well as trend analysis that will prevent future attacks. However, it is very difficult to garner the political will to write this into law. The best to be hoped for is the roll out of programmes of best practice. For example, the NGO Every Casualty, has developed criteria that would standardise casualty counts. In addition, while recording casualties is a job for the police and hospitals, they are often under-resourced and are less likely to be able to cope with the numbers after an IED attack. An alternative mechanism may therefore, be needed to facilitate this.

Appropriate responses
Secondly, IED attacks create more dead and injured than first responders ordinarily deal with. Emergency/crisis response measures need to be enhanced including the provision of adequate psychological support.

Two instruments can be applied here:

# International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights[xii] (ICCPR)
Article 6: the Right to Life, obliges all states to take appropriate measures to preserve life.
# Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power[xiii]
The Declaration is not a binding treaty but it does provide a framework, which encourages the training of forces to prevent possible abuses and to provide recourse to victims. This reiterates the fact that if federal or provincial resources are lacking, then another mechanism needs to be put in place in order to minimise harm.[xiv]

The need for accountability and reparations after an IED attack
After an attack has taken place and the wounded and dead are collected, there is still work to be done to ensure reparations for the victims. Victims, as will be shown, is taken in the widest sense of the term. At this stage of the attack, the state needs to think about providing compensation to the victims and conducting effective investigations and prosecutions as enshrined in IHRL.

It is not contested that parties responsible for civilian harm are liable to pay compensation to those harmed. There are three dilemmas, however, when talking about compensation for victims of IEDs.

Firstly, in this context the plaintiff in a case would be a non-state armed actor from whom compensation would never be received because they would be an outlaw or tied up in the judicial process if they are arrested.

Secondly, states like Pakistan may find funding compensation challenging and costly as a developing nation.

Thirdly, instruments that talk about victim compensation do not contain quantitative guidelines so compensation is often under-estimated.

In the first case, UN guidelines have been issued. Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, issued Framework principles for securing the human rights of victims of terrorism[xv]. Emmerson’s position is that acts of terrorism amount to violations of the human rights of the victims, irrespective of the question of direct or indirect state responsibility. Many developed nations have set up compensation schemes to this effect when a terrorist attack has either taken place on their soil or if a national of their country was involved in a terror attack. This is supported by customary international law[xvi], which has viewed that the state is responsible for their subject’s life and can be found in breach of Article 6 ICCPR if they have not taken adequate measures to protect that life.

Secondly, international law provides for states to receive aid from other nations, and obliges more developed nations to assist developing countries and set up adequate compensation measures.

With regard to the third issue, quantitative guidelines do not exist but judgment and opinion rule that reparations must be sufficient to remedy all of the consequences that took place. A comparison of compensation packages in similar scenarios will highlight where inconsistencies and inadequacies lie. Ultimately, making a compensation scheme part of public policy will ensure that it is systematically and fairly administered, offering the best recourse for victims.

#Convention on Cluster Munitions
The Convention on Cluster Munitions[xvii], which aims to ultimately prohibit the sale, production and use of cluster munitions, refers specifically to victim assistance. The Convention further operationalises what victim assistance should look like in Articles 3 and 5 – including the definition of a victim and states that such victims should not be discriminated against amongst victims of other types of weapons, therefore not precluding IEDs. Pakistan is not a party to the convention and still produces and export cluster munitions, regarding them as legitimate weapons of war, even though they may not be using them themselves.

#Mine Ban Treaty
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, otherwise known as the Mine Ban Treaty/ Ottawa Treaty[xviii], also includes relevant clauses (Article 6 and 7) on victim assistance and in particular, obliges states who are asked to do so, to provide assistance for care, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of mine victims and mine awareness programmes.

Pakistan is not a party to the convention and is still reported to be stockpiling and producing mines.

The role of the victim in effective prosecutions can be crucial to achieving a conviction and is recognised at the international level.

#The Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power[xix]
The Declaration provides a framework for placing victims central to justice initiatives, including preventing victimisation in the first place but also allowing them access to justice, redress and protection. In particular, paragraph 5 of the resolution highlighted key actions that the international community may be able to assist with, on a bilateral level including training, research, aid, and designing new interventions.

#Oslo Commitments on Armed Violence[xx] and #Millennium Development Goals and the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development[xxi]
Also, without specific legislation on IEDs and IED victims, it’s helpful that a number of politically-binding commitments have stressed non-discrimination between victims of serious attacks. The Geneva Declaration in particular placed more attention on the rights of victims of armed violence.

This clarification is relevant to both compensatory reparations and also to prosecutions as they allude to the definition of the victim. The victim might be a direct victim, a secondary victim (the kin of direct victims), an indirect victim (a victim of lethal force used as consequence of terrorism) or potential victims.

Bearing the latter definition of victim in mind, states have a positive obligation on them under Article 6 of the ICCPR to preserve the right to life and so must make proactive efforts to apprehend perpetrators of violent acts.[xxii]

Appropriate Victim responses
#2006 Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law[xxiii]
This is the main framework that outlines appropriate victim responses where they have suffered from violations of IHL and IHRL.

It includes access to justice, universal jurisdiction and extradition, appropriate physical and psychological care, prompt and adequate reparation, access to information, facilitation for groups of victims and reparation claims and an adequate remedy for gross violations of human rights.

Pakistan’s National Legislation and Policies
The international framework has laid out what states should be doing and what Pakistan is encouraged and/or bound to put in place, but the existing legal mechanisms appear to be limited.

There are, of course, general provisions within Pakistan’s Constitution, Penal Code and other legislation that are relevant here and should provide basis for prosecutions at the very least.

National Law
#The Pakistan Constitution[xxiv]
The Constitution governs the fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens. Article 9 and 10 are particularly relevant as they refer to security of the person: not to be deprived of life or liberty (Art.9) and safeguards to arrest and detention and the right to a fair trail (Art.10). The latter will have more relevance when considering powers within The Anti-Terror Act 1997.

#Pakistan Penal Code[xxv]
The Pakistan Penal Code is the most comprehensive criminal code in Pakistan and extensively covers crimes and punishments related to the proliferation of IEDs. A list of relevant clauses has been provided in Annex I.

#The Anti-Terror Act 1997
Anti-terror legislation in Pakistan in essence makes anyone in possession of an explosive for the purpose of causing harm, liable for the charge of terrorism (Art.6), making this Act an important one with regards to IEDs. Punishments include death, life imprisonment and lesser sentences where deaths have not been caused. This Act has implications for any investigations, prosecutions and trials as it dictates that investigators of a certain rank must be in charge of any inquiries (also in line with #Federal Investigation Agency Act 1974[xxvi]); it allows for preventive detention for inquiry; and it permits the period of detention to be extended for ten months at a time (Art.11EE). Furthermore, it only mandates Anti-Terror Courts (ATC) in the necessary territorial jurisdiction to try cases (Art.12). It is also worth exploring how Article 11-O and 11-OO work with regards to accessing frozen assets and properties and whether compensation can be taken from these.

#Customs Act 1969[xxvii]
The Customs Act is only relevant here as it governs the law around smuggling, which is occurring with regards to CAN fertilisers to Afghanistan.

# The Explosives Act 1884[xxviii]
The federal act governing explosive substances makes it unlawful to use said explosives in order to cause harm. It contains a non-exhaustive list of explosive substances and also states that it may extend the definition as well as any rules with regards to licensing.

#Fertilizer (Control) Act 1999[xxix]
This Act is only relevant in the sense that it makes reference to accurately labelling packaging, for instance when considering cases of smuggling banned fertilisers to Afghanistan. It also states that the Government has the right to ban any fertiliser at any time, if there is a breach of the Act but this is a discretionary power only.

#The Injured Persons and Medical Aid Act 2004[xxx]
This Act is one which is relevant to situations of emergency and tending to the wounded although it is general in its remit. It specifically acknowledges that delays in treatment of the injured need to be avoided. It has been drafted to ensure there is no mistake that priority is to be given to injured persons; that police cannot intervene until injured persons are treated; that in emergency situations, familial consent can be waived; establishes rules against negligently moving the injured; and includes a clause on establishing awareness of the legislation.

Steps being taken to prevent IED attacks

#National Strategy on Counter-IED[xxxi]
On request by the US government, Pakistan has put in place a strategy to counter the threat of IEDs in Pakistan and that which effects Afghanistan. Part of that strategy was supposed to be the Counter-IED Act 2012 (C-IED 2012). Draft legislation for the National Strategy to Counter-IEDs was to be tabled in Parliament in 2012 but there is no record of the C-IED Act 2012 having been drafted or approved and is not listed amongst the statutes of Pakistan on the Ministry of Law and Justice website[xxxii] nor is it on record as having been passed through Parliament in the National Assembly of Pakistan[xxxiii].

Evidence of push-back against the idea of isolating CAN is found on the Pakistan Defence Department’s website where General Kayane proposes that it is not a Pakistan specific problem and they will need the help of the whole international community. He does say that the Pakistani Army are leading the way on a strategy that was aimed at creating awareness, assisting legislation, adopting the best practices from across the world, suitably equipping the forces and effectively training them. It is possible that rather than a newly drafted act, amendments to existing legislation have been made as part of the strategy. The need for legislation was again raised at an inter-agency meeting in 2013[xxxiv].

There are clear – at least public – efforts that have been made by the military. For instance, a bomb squad school, restricting the availability of CAN based fertilisers and developing a fertiliser, CAN+, which would be as effective on Pakistan’s soil as CAN, but without being able to detonate if used in an IED.

Pakistan in 2015 also signed an agreement with the US, which would help the two countries work together to fight roadside bombs by sharing information in areas such as militant tactics and funding; separately, the British military has provided instruction.[xxxv]

Measures applied when IED attacks do occur
Following an attack, chaos often ensues and is in part due to resource and capacity constraints: fundamentally the lack of training for state operated emergency services.

There are general provisions on medical care, which establishes the basic level of response but what would be further useful is specific protocol on emergency response in heightened security scenarios.

There is some evidence of training being rolled out along these lines but capacity limitations will always hinder the consistency of its application, particularly when deploying state resources. International guidelines have highlighted the need for alternative mechanisms.

Casualty recording is an ordinary job for police and hospitals but amongst the same capacity issues, consistency is compromised so accurate data is lacking. There is no federal provision in law, that can be seen at least from an initial rudimentary search, to enforce the counting of the dead but with standards established by the NGO, Every Casualty, there is nothing stopping Pakistan from adopting a programme or policy that follows best practice. There is no particular political will to do so however, so the challenge is to create that will.

The need for accountability and reparations after an IED attack
There is no federal law on victim assistance as far as can be seen. Compensation so far has been ad hoc, inconsistent and driven by PR rather than by putting the victim first. Successful prosecutions have also been reported to be low following an IED attack.[xxxvi]

Provincial Action
The Eighteenth amendment of the Constitution, passed in 2010, gave greater autonomy to the Provincial Governments in Pakistan and as such a lot of directives are passed at this level, particular and appropriate to the provinces of either Punjab, Sindh, Azad Kashmir, Baluchistan or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

For instance, a ban on ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate and CAN fertilisers was imposed in Malakand Division: Dir, Swat, Chitral and Malakand districts of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, in November 2009 by the provincial government when reports first arose that those chemicals were used by militants to make explosives.[xxxvii]

Individual provinces are therefore, likely to have their own policies and local laws with regards to all tiers of the necessary framework. A full survey of these would involve more extensive research, however a few statutes are obvious to the local legal framework.

#The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Explosives Act 2013[xxxviii] and #The Explosives Act 1884[xxxix] which covers Punjab.
These statutes govern the use of explosives in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab provinces and prohibit their unlawful use. They prescribe terrorism if anyone is caught with unlawful intent. They include powers to restrict or ban certain explosives under discretionary rules and may extend the definition of ‘explosives’ if fertilisers have been found to contain explosive properties. Penalties are in the form of fines but this does not prevent charges under other legislation being made.

#The Punjab Fertilisers Control Order 1973[xl] and #The Sindh Fertiliser (Control) Rules 1999[xli]
These provincial statutes only have relevance as they refer to the ability of the Government to control or restrict stock under discretionary powers.

#The Injured Persons (Medical Aid) Act 2004[xlii], #Injured Persons and Emergency (Medical Aid) Act 2014 and #The Sindh Injured Persons (Medical Aid) Act 2014[xliii]
These Acts essentially put into place the federal passed bill in 2004 and lays the basic standard of treatment and care expected for injured persons.

#Balochistan’s Civilian Victims of Terrorism (Relief and Rehabilitation) Law 2014[xliv] and #The Punjab Civilian Victims of Terrorism (Relief and Rehabilitation) Ordinance 2016[xlv]
The Act is specifically applicable to the event of a terrorist incident. It places the onus of reporting victims and incidents onto officials. It specifies timeframes and specific modes of payment. It states the need for free medical care for the victim and goes as far to say that if private hospital care is deemed necessary, the Government will fulfil the bill. Rehabilitation measures are outlined including, on-going compensation, follow up medical care and education/training. A quantified schedule of compensation amounts is also included in the Act. The Act is a positive step in systematically addressing the victims of attacks. It also in effect should make counting of casualties and injured persons an act in law, at least in cases of terrorist incidents. The schedule of payments are uniform in both provinces also.

There are three things worth questioning about this Act: firstly what is construed as an act of terrorism; psychological care is not addressed as a need for treatment or follow up care; and finally the statute makes it obligatory for hospitals to provide free treatment to victims but fails to consider that the extra costs fall on the hospital itself while their budgets remain the same.

Regional Mechanisms
Regional co-operation is of great necessity in the IED context. Afghanistan has banned fertiliser containing CAN, however it is important to note that there is currently some push back against this ban. Afghanistan (and Pakistan) are largely rural areas and agriculture is a dominant industry. The urea based fertilisers do not work as well on the arid land in the region and as such crops are suffering, a complaint also heard in the tribal areas of Pakistan[xlvi].

It’s been found that bags of fertiliser containing CAN are still being smuggled to Afghanistan from Pakistan: not only for use by terror networks or irregular armed groups, but for agriculture as well.[xlvii]

Pressure from the US continues and urges Pakistan to stop producing the CAN based fertilisers completely and have made it a condition in the US Aid Bill[xlviii]. Pakistan is unwilling to do so, however, with even a Pakistan Government owned company still producing the CAN based product[xlix].

The argument is that they would lose more money from agriculture than they would stand to benefit from aid.

In terms of the legal framework, there are still gaps in knowledge of what efforts are being made to implement effective laws and policies that place civilian protection first.

Further research is needed on what provincial mechanisms are in place that disrupt the use of IEDs, ensure adequate response during an attack and offer the provision of effective recourse after a blast has taken place in provinces other than Baluchistan and Punjab. The new laws in Baluchistan and Punjab also need to be monitored to ensure the implementation of that legislation.

Little evidence has been seen of the C-IED 2012, which was supposed to be drafted four years ago. A further review is needed of these efforts.

Pakistan has also a history of drafting legislation to fulfil international demands but is weak in practice and under-implemented. The Prevention of Human Trafficking Ordinance 2002 was a prime example of this, which was rushed through Parliament without consultation or any type of implementation strategy to pay lip service to a US request. If a law is yet to be passed, then this process should be strengthened and facilitated by undertaking a full consultation with relevant stakeholders and should include an implementation mechanism that includes law enforcement training and a communication dissemination programme.

At the international level, Pakistan has still not signed or ratified the Mine Ban Treaty or Cluster Munitions Treaty. The Landmine Monitor in its annual reports acknowledge that there is a moratorium on the export of landmines and that non-state armed actors are producing mines including victim-activated IEDs. Victim-operated IEDs are considered de facto anti-personnel landmines in the eyes of the law, sharing their principal function and threat of detonating under the foot pressure of a person, be it child or soldier, without distinction.[l] Efforts noted that operations have been undertaken to seize landmine factories; but there is no legal mechanism to do so.

The effectiveness of arrests and trials made through Anti-Terror powers and ATCs remains in question. A review of arrests and procedure should be undertaken in areas prone to IED attacks.

Alternative mechanisms for emergency response in crisis situations could be explored and their formalisation analysed.

Once a full review of Pakistan’s law in this area is made, recommendations for further amendments or a drafting of new bill with an implementation mechanism can be undertaken.


[i] In the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended on 3 May 1996 or Protocol II.








[ix] General Assembly Resolution A/RES/70/46

[x] GA Resolution A/70/80






[xvi] R. (Smith) v. Secretary of State for Defence [2010] UKSC 29; Smith and others v Ministry of Defence



[xix] General Assembly resolution A/RES/40/34



[xxii] Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson. Framework principles for securing the human rights of victims of terrorism. A/HRC/20/14. Available at - HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session20/A-HRC-20-14_en.pdf

[xxiii] General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/14