Balochistan Civilian Victims of Terrorism (Relief and Rehabilitation) Act 2014

In January 2014, the Pakistani Balochistan provincial government passed a law establishing reparations as a right and institutionalizes the process and provision of assistance for civilian victims of terrorism. Although this act is not applicable to civilian victims of drone attacks executed by state officials, its rationale might serve as a compass in drone litigation cases or inspire the development of (international) legislation for drone victims.

The Balochistan Civilian Victims of Terrorism (Relief and Rehabilitation) Act 2014 requires the government to establish a designated Civilian Victims Fund, which government officials will use based on the merits of victims’ claims, as opposed to political expediency. Recognizing the right of civilian victims to receive state assistance for redress, relevant provisions encompass monetary compensation (Article 3), rehabilitation, with special emphasis on education of dependent children, continued healthcare and provision for livelihood of the civilian victims and their family members (Article 5) and mental and physical medical care (Article 7) or a combination thereof (Article 8). Elaborating on monetary rewards, an annex schedule shows that the minimum amount of compensation depends on nature and the extent of the harm suffered.

Whereas this law puts an obligation on the Balochistan government to compensate for harm caused by terrorists, the compensation does not prejudice the government’s liability under any other law (Article 18) and shall not be construed as admission of any wrong on the part of the Government (Article 19).

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that equal treatment of all victims is guaranteed in Article 11, reading that reparations “… shall not be denied on the basis of age, gender, religion, race, creed, colour or place of residence.”