The Drone Debate
President Asif Ali
President Ten Percent Zardari
... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ...
told a senior US official last month that drone attacks in Pakistain's tribal areas were counterproductive. He said they provoked anti-America sentiments in Pakistain because of the collateral damage.
"Drone Attacks are counterproductive and useless," the president told US Special Envoy for Pakistain and Afghanistan, Mark Grossman, in his last meeting with him.
| "Drone Attacks are counterproductive and useless," the president told US Special Envoy for Pakistain and Afghanistan, Mark Grossman, in his last meeting with him. |
President of Tribal Union of Journalists, Safdar Dawar, disagrees with President Zardari. He believes most drone attacks have eliminated Death Eaters from Al Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) and other outfits linked with them.
| President of Tribal Union of Journalists, Safdar Dawar, disagrees with President Zardari. He believes most drone attacks have eliminated Death Eaters from Al Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) and other outfits linked with them. |
"Even Taliban sources admit that drone attacks kill their leaders. They speak to us after almost every strike," he says. "But the families who provide shelter to the targets (of drones) are also killed in these attacks."
Safdar hails from North Wazoo and is a witness to several post-drone attack situations. He believes the human intelligence helping the CIA find their targets is quite accurate. "I cannot believe that they do it on their own. I think our intelligence agencies are helping the CIA."
The intelligence agencies deny they provide the on-ground intelligence assistance for drone attacks. Military front man Maj Gen Athar Abbas has repeatedly stated that drones were causing more harm than good.
Recently, a joint sitting of the Parliament approved a wide range of foreign policy recommendations that included demanding a formal apology from the United Sates over last November's attack on two Pak border posts in Salala (Mohmmand Agency). The Parliament also asked the US to stop drone strikes, which they said were a blatant attack on Pakistain's illusory sovereignty. The US has not entertained either of the two key demands so far.
On the contrary, the US government has warned Pakistain it will stop all civil and military aid if Pak does not re-open the NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization....
supply routes. Analysts in Pakistain are divided over the opening of the supply routes. Some say the embargo must end for Pakistain to maintain a stable relationship with the world community, while others do not want the government to succumb to US pressure. The opposition Pakistain Moslem League-Nawaz and the reactionary Pakistain Defence Council appear to be on the same wavelength.
The first drone attack in Pakistain was presumably made in June 2004 to kill thug leader Nek Muhammad Wazir. The killing quashed controversial Shakai peace deal between the Death Eaters and Pakistain Army.
Statistics of New America Foundation show that since 2004, the CIA carried out around 300 drone attacks in Pakistain, killing 2,700 people including civilians. The Bureau of Investigative Journalists puts the total number of drone attacks slightly more than 300 and the total number of deaths more than 3,000.
| Statistics of New America Foundation show that since 2004, the CIA carried out around 300 drone attacks in Pakistain, killing 2,700 people including civilians. |
"It is important to reiterate that any reduction in terrorist activity associated with the drone campaign appears modest in scope. Although a decline in violence in FATA in 2010 coincided with the peak of the drone campaign, FATA Death Eaters remain active and violence remains high. To the extent drone strikes work, their effectiveness is more likely to lie in disrupting thug operations at the tactical level than as a silver bullet that will reverse the course of the war and singlehandedly defeat Al Qaeda," read a February 2012 research paper by Rand Corporation, titled 'The Impact of US Drone Strikes on Terrorism in Pakistain'.
President Zardari is representing Pakistain in the Chicago Conference, which will decide the future role of the military alliance in Afghanistan. Much of that has already been decided in the recent strategic agreement between Kabul and Washington, signed on the death anniversary of the late Osama bin Laden
... who went titzup one dark and stormy night...
Posted by: trailing wife 2012-05-20