By James J. Saulino* —
This article describes four legal frameworks for the conduct of counterterrorism in Pakistan, and, using recent case studies, evaluates their effectiveness toward meeting long-term U.S. strategic interests. The four models examined are: (1) local prosecution; (2) international extradition; (3) rendition; and (4) direct action.
The first section discusses terrorism prosecutions in Pakistan in the context of the 2002 trial of Omar Saeed Sheikh and includes an evaluation of Pakistan’s special Anti-Terrorism Courts. The second examines recent experiences with the extradition of terrorism suspects from Pakistan. The third section looks at rendition and seeks to clarify both what the practice entails as well as its legal basis. The final section discusses direct action in Pakistan, including the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and special forces.
The article argues that, given the range of options available, U.S. policymakers must think strategically about what mix of methods is most sustainable and effective over the long-term. It concludes that a shift toward prosecution of terrorism suspects in Pakistani or American courts is desirable but not presently achievable in all cases.
*J.D. candidate, Harvard Law School, 2011; M.P.P. candidate, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2011; A.B., Princeton University, 2003. The author would like to thank Professor Eric Rosenbach for his guidance and assistance with this project.
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