On The World Scene – 1

One of the more common arguments given in support of the Union is that an independent Scotland would not be able to project itself onto the world scene the way the UK does.

619“Hopefully not” would be my answer so here is a little series on how the UK projects itself in some cases around the world. Do you enjoy being part of this? This is from the Guardian…

Reprieve files for judicial review over export of British drone parts to US

Campaign group brings challenge on behalf of Pakistani villager, claiming UK companies should be denied licences to sell abroad

The export of British-manufactured parts for American drones used in clandestine CIA strikes in Pakistan is facing a legal challenge from the campaign group Reprieve. The London-based human rights organisation is to apply for a judicial review of the way in which the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) operates government export controls.

It is bringing the action on behalf of Malik Jalal, an elder of the Manzar Kel tribe who lives in Waziristan. His region of north-west Pakistan has been attacked repeatedly by US drones, known officially as “unmanned aerial vehicles” (UAVs), targeting Taliban and al-Qaida supporters.

Human rights groups says that Pakistani villagers are the main victims of the US drone programme, which is directed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

According to Reprieve, a tribal gathering in the area was struck by a drone in March 2011 and 50 people were killed; several of Jalal’s relatives were among the injured.

“As a result of the UAV strikes, Malik Jalal and others residing in the area live in constant fear,” Reprieve wrote in a letter to BIS.

Furthermore, last week on the site of the human rights group that are bringing the action, this was posted…

The British government is refusing to grant visas to three Pakistani drone strike victims, including Noor Khan, who is suing the UK over its role in intelligence-sharing with the CIA. All three men had been invited to speak at a Parliamentary meeting on drones that was scheduled to take place today. Last week, the Rehman family – whose grandmother was killed in a drone strike – travelled to the US to speak at a Congressional hearing having been grantedvisas.

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