Pakistan Views: US Drone Attacks Counter-Productive

Pakistan Views: US Drone Attacks Counter-Productive

July 21, 2012

Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam, ISI Chief is visiting Washington in the ongoing
month of July. He will likely to attend Pak-US Strategic talks and will also hold talks
with CIA Director David Petraeus on end of Illegal U.S. drone attacks, counter-terror
cooperation and intelligence sharing. The question arises whether this interaction
will help in lessening the already prevailing tensions between the fractured anti-terror
alliances, despite Islamabad’s decision to end a seven-month blockade on Nato
supplies for Afghanistan. The United States has to understand that Nato supply will
remain under threat even after restoration, till the time U.S doesn’t stop illegal drone
attacks Pakistani areas.

She must realize that Pakistani masses including security forces and economy suffered
a lot due to global war on terror. Pakistan has spent more than 8 billions$ over the
war but as return, gifted with attack on Salala Check Post, increase in drone attacks,
beheading of her soldiers after abduction from FATA areas by RAW sponsored Afghan
elements and interference in Balochistan. Attacking and killing of Pakistani soldiers
on Chenab River Bank, raiding under training security elements and attacking security
forces camp in Gwadar Port (Balochistan) on 21 July 2012, are clear cut indications of
increase of foreign sponsored militancy in Pakistan. U.S. should also understand that
such type of increase in subversive activities and drone strikes is damaging her already
deteriorated image in Pakistani masses.

CIA drone campaign has killed thousands of Pakistani civilians including women and
children. According to reliable sources,since 2004, some 245 drone strikes have been
launched in which 2405 civilians have been targeted apart from the finical losses.
Carefully calculated data reveals that twenty percent of the resulting deaths are
believed to have been civilians. AS per South Asian Intelligence Review too the death
toll as result of drone attack in FATA is as under:-

Drone attacks in Pakistan: 2004-2012

Years

Strike

Killed

2004

1

5

2005

1

1

2006

0

0

2007

1

20

2008

19

156

2009

46

536

2010

90

831

2011

59

548

2012

28

312

Total*

245

2409

Source:  South Asian Intelligence Review

According to another report compiled by London-based Bureau of Investigative
Journalism (BIJ) states that 2,496 and 3,202 persons had been killed in US predators
in Pakistan since 2004. Among them were 482 to 832 civilians, 175 of them children.
Significantly, President Obama, on January 30, 2012, had claimed that US drone
attacks in Pakistan had “not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.”

Nevertheless, the impact of the drone attacks within Pakistan has, however, been
politically devastating for U.S. A Washington-based PEW Global Survey revealed that
about 74 per cent of Pakistanis now consider the US an enemy, up from 69 percent last
year and 64 percent three years ago. In this regard survey opined that Obama Actions
in Afghanistan and world over are exceedingly low regard by Pakistanis, due to the
civilian casualties in drone attacks. Probably, CIA doesn’t pay any heed to US foreign
state office. Recently, on July 3, 2012, Pakistan agreed to reopen its border to NATO
supply convoys into Afghanistan after the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered
an apology for the loss of life in NATO’s aerial attack on the Salala border check-post in
FATA on November 26, 2011, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

But on July 6, 2012, drone strikes took place just two days after the first NATO truck
entered Afghanistan through Pakistan after a break of more than seven months,
reaffirming the US intent to continue with drone attacks, ignoring Pakistani objections
and resentment over the issue. CIA actions of going for drone strikes and ignoring
foreign officers’ concern simply would be taken as there are some elements in US
intelligence elite that dislike any improvement between in Pak-US relationship. Indeed,
discontinuation of the drone strikes was one of the major preconditions Pakistan had
articulated for reopening the NATO supply routes.

American and her allies should know that Pakistan has repeatedly asserted that
unilateral drone strikes have proved counterproductive as it results in arousing anti-
American feelings among the masses with increase sympathy of the terrorists. Besides,
under-mining Pakistan’s sovereignty and image of Armed Forces, it is a complete
violation of international law and UN Charter. Moreover, public aspirations and desire,
Pakistan’s political; military and intelligence leadership has always been on the same
page with regards to non-acceptance of drone strikes. American leadership should
know that ISI Chief’s visit to USA has been planned after the Government of Pakistan’s
approval. It means that there is no difference between political and military top brass
now in Pakistan. Head of ISI should convince and ask his counter parts to stop drone
attacks strikes and US should provide strategic and technical intelligence input obtained

through drones/ Unmanned Arial Vehicles so that Pak can take action against the
terrorists.

The writer is a retired Senior Military Officer and Defence Analyst should be approached through email zameer36@gmail.com

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Pakistan Views: US Drone Attacks Counter-Productive
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One Response to Pakistan Views: US Drone Attacks Counter-Productive

  1. Farzal Khan on July 31, 2012 at 12:11 am

    DG is right but it’s quite late. PAF must be ordered to hit back and it must give the unexpected reaction to the america so that they must understand that pakistan has a power and resources to take stand against america. I don’t think it requires an official visit to america rather than they must be warned of our intentions.

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