DRONE ATTACKS BLOCK IN PAKISTAN UK JUDGES ACTION Judges on Friday
blocked a legal action brought by a Pakistani man againstBritainover allegations that British intelligence has been used inUSdrone attacks onPakistan. Lawyers for Noor Khan, 27, who lives inPakistan, launched the action at the High Court inLondonin March after the death of his father Malik Daud Khan last year in a drone strike inNorth Waziristan. They sought to challenge the lawfulness of the helpBritain’s intelligence gathering agency GCHQ reportedly provides to the CIA, such as information targeting militants, which is then used in deadly drone strikes. However, lawyers for British Foreign Secretary William Hague had urged the court to block the legal proceedings, saying the case was unarguable. They said it raised issues relating to sovereign foreign states that cannot be determined by English courts, adding that any ruling would have a “significant” impact on British relations with theUnited StatesandPakistan. Lord Justice Alan Moses refused Khan permission to bring the legal challenge at the High Court on Friday. “The real aim is to persuade this court to make a public pronouncement designed to condemn the activities of theUnited StatesinNorth Waziristan, as a step in persuading them to halt such activity,” he said. The judge said lawyer Martin Chamberlain, who represented Khan in court, “knows he could not obtain permission overtly for such a purpose”. He added: “His stimulating arguments have been an attempt to shroud that purpose in a more acceptable veil.” The covertUSattacks are unpopular inPakistan, where the government criticises them as a violation of sovereignty, but US officials believe they are a vital weapon against Islamist militants.