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    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    US drone strikes in Pakistan

    At this sensitive moment, when Pak-US diplomats were negotiating a complex issue of restoring the NATO supply routes across Pakistan to Afghanistan in wake of the heightening political noise inside the country, US accelerated CIA-operated drone attacks, killing more than 50 people in North Waziristan.

    After a two-month pause in the aftermath of the US-led NATO deliberate air attack which killed 25 soldiers on Pakistan Army border posts on November 26 last year, and by setting aside Islamabad's strict measures such as suspension of NATO supply to Afghanistan and vacation of Shamsi Airbase, these strikes by the unmanned aircraft continue on Pak tribal areas.

    During his recent visit to India, while pampering New Delhi, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has repeatedly pointed out that drone attacks would continue on save havens of terrorists in Pakistan. Afterwards, in Kabul by reviving US old blame game, Panetta allegedly said on June 7 that the US was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan due to safe havens, "the country offered to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan."

    Leon Panetta's tough comments coupled with predator's strikes created complication to narrow the differences between both the countries, and the result was a deadlock, while both Pakistan and America were near to sign an agreement as US top officials remarked.

    In fact, attacks by spy planes are part of American covert war against Pakistan. Therefore, even President Barack Obama has defended these strikes on FATA under the pretext of its so-called counterinsurgency programme. On the one side, US top officials including Panetta has blamed Pakistan for cross-border terrorism, while on the other, American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad, based in Afghanistan have been sending well-trained militants in Pakistan, who not only attack the check posts of Pakistan's security forces, but also target schools and mosques. These agencies also support various subversive acts in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan besides backing Baloch separatism.

    Although without bothering for the violation of Pakistan's sovereignty, Washington has re-started these strikes by pilotless aircraft to destabilise our country for the collective strategic designs of US-led India and Israel, yet these strikes are not only counterproductive for Pakistan, but also for the US itself. Such a faulty policy is likely to damage American regional and global interests.

    In the last three years, more than 700 innocent civilians and only 14 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by the US unmanned air vehicles.

    Regarding drone attacks and casualties, New America Foundation pointed out in a recent report, "when the US drones attack Pakistan's tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, but it creates the anti-US sentiments among masses…the civilian killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistan…while killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?"

    In this respect, the major purpose of fresh wave of drone strikes was to thwart the recent offer of militants and Pakistan government for peace talks, and to provoke the tribal people, resulting into more suicide attacks inside the country. Another aim behind is also to incite the insurgents of FATA against the security forces. But, such a flawed policy will certainly culminate in more unity among the elected government, security forces and the general masses, consequently massive hostility towards Washington. In that scenario, the US policy of liberalism and democracy could badly fail, giving a greater incentive to the fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan.

    Sporadic strikes by the unmanned predators on tribal regions will cause drastic impact on the US war on terror, not only in our country, but also in Afghanistan where US-led NATO forces are facing defeatism. This action is likely to undermine international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, jeopardising American interests, while the foreign forces will complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. In this context, US high officials, especially Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistan's help for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario.

    Meanwhile, some other developments such as Pakistan's new relationship with Russia, enhancing regional cooperation with Iran, and rejection of US pressure to abandon the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project show that a shift in Islamabad's policy has already taken place in connection with Washington. While, tension exists in Pak-US ties, if strikes by the spy planes keep on going, the Pakistan government will be compelled to leave the US war against terrorism due to public backlash.

    Nevertheless, US drone warfare against Pakistan will be counterproductive bringing about other dire consequences for United States itself. In this context, both Iran and Pakistan might stand together to frustrate the US strategic designs. Moreover, their alliance with Syria would make the matter worse for America. In that scenario, a vast region from Pakistan to Somalia and Nigeria to Iraq and the Indian-held Kashmir will further be radicalised, bringing about more terrorism, directed against the Americans. Thus, American worldwide interests are likely to be jeopardised in these countries and the whole Middle East where the US has failed in coping with the Islamic militants directly or indirectly, and where in some Arab countries, resentment among the people is already running high against the pro-American rulers. These negative developments will further reduce the US bargaining leverage on rival small countries such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela etc.

    Besides, after the withdrawal of occupying forces, US flawed strategy will throw Afghanistan in an era of further uncertainty and chaos, intensifying country's intractable issues. And American small contingency in Afghanistan will not be in a position to cope with a perennial resistance of the Afghan Taliban. Now, European governments are cutting defense budgets, while the US is increasingly tilting towards defense challenges in Asia. In this drastic situation, many of NATO's other members which are facing economic problems, have little appetite for American foreign adventures. Even, they will be reluctant to fund American permanent military presence in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO troops as announced in the Chicago summit. Here question also rises whether the US, which accounts for three-quarters of NATO defense spending, will remain committed to the organization?

    It is of particular that after fighting a different war for ten years, American cost of war which has reached approximately 8 trillion dollars will further increase in wake of debt crisis, decline of dollar and acute recession, and other-related financial problems inside the country. These will give a greater setback to the US economy as compared other developed countries, while European and other western countries held the United States responsible for the global financial crisis. In the recent past, anti-capitalism which initially started in America, enveloped other European countries. In this respect, a greater rift will be created between the US and other western countries.

    Even in the US, in May, this year, the Pentagon has been under orders to cut spending by $487 billion from projected defense over the next decade as the Obama Administration tries to rein in its trillion-dollar deficit. Realising the ground realties, majority of the US lawmakers prefer other public welfare programmes. While, Americans are protesting against the prolonged war in Afghanistan including drone attacks particularly on Pakistan. Some American media anchors have also started opposing these strikes.

    On the one hand, US is trying to repair damaged ties with Islamabad, while, on the other, it is playing a double game with the latter. In this connection, despite the visit of US and NATO diplomats including commanders, by rejecting foreign duress for earlier restoration of NATO transport routes unilaterally, Pakistan's civil and military leaders remain firm on their stand that the issue of NATO supply lines would be decided in light of the parliamentary guidelines. Besides other related issues, predator's strikes are creating a greater impediment in reaching an agreement between Pakistan and the US.

    In the given situation, if President Obama continued drone attacks on Pakistan, he would damage American interests, and the US is likely to face the fate of the former Soviet Union in its worst form.

    Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

    Email: [email protected]
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    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strike Kills Eight Militants .

    Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strike Kills Eight Militants .

    DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan—U.S. missiles fired from a drone in a Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border killed eight suspected militants early Sunday, officials said, as the controversial American strikes continue despite Islamabad's persistent demands that they stop.

    The latest attack killed fighters loyal to militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the officials said. Mr. Bahadur is believed by residents of the region to have an informal working relationship with the Pakistani army, refraining from targeting the security forces while focusing on U.S. and NATO forces in nearby Afghanistan.

    The continued strikes, despite the likely political fallout, show Washington's confidence in the effectiveness of the drone program against al Qaeda and Taliban fighters who allegedly use Pakistan as a base.

    Two Pakistani intelligence officials said four Hellfire missiles were fired at a house used by suspected militants in Dre Nishter village of North Waziristan. All the Pakistani officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media.

    The officials said some foreign militants belonging to the Turkmenistan Islamic Movement were believed to have been killed, along with other local fighters from the Bahadur group. Militants from several central Asian countries have joined Afghans, Arabs, and others in Pakistan.

    North Waziristan is one of several tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan that are hubs of militant activity. Mr. Bahadur controls most of North Waziristan.

    The U.S. rarely talks publicly about the covert CIA-run drone program in Pakistan.

    The drone attacks are a source of deep frustration and tension between the U.S. and Pakistan. Islamabad says they violate its sovereignty and cause civilian casualties.

    They complicate efforts to normalize the relationship between Washington and Islamabad, including reopening supply routes through Pakistani territory to NATO and American forces in Afghanistan. Islamabad blocked the routes after American airstrikes accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

    The U.S. in turn criticizes Pakistan for failing to crack down on fighters who stage attacks in Afghanistan.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...685876058.html

  3. #3
    Forum Administrator bilalhaider's Avatar
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    Drone strikes create further conflict, rather than reducing it. It causes more destabilization & instability, & increases spillover of violence. Pakistan must rally against the use of drone strikes, & get China & Russia on board (two permanent UNSC members) to get their use illegal.

    As Russia & China are facing their own Muslim (coupled with ethnic conflict) insurgencies, they might not necessarily be against the use of drone strikes, if it is killing militants that can pose a threat to their nations. However, there is no doubt that drone strikes have increased instability & destabilization in Northern Afghanistan, which poses a threat to both China & Russia. Once Russia & China fully understand the repercussions of the use of drone strikes, and are fully on board on this issue, along with the UN's statement of drones being 'potential war crimes', their use could be declared illegal.

    Pakistan must address the issues of drone strikes with both China & Russia, & must get its point across to get them on board.
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    US drone strike kills eight suspected militants in Pakistan

    US missiles fired from a drone in a Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border killed eight suspected militants early Sunday, officials said, as the controversial American strikes continue despite Islamabad's persistent demands that they stop.

    The latest attack killed fighters loyal to militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, local authorites said.

    Bahadur is believed by residents of the region to have an informal working relationship with the Pakistani army, refraining from targeting the security forces while focusing on US and Nato forces in nearby Afghanistan.

    The continued strikes, despite the likely political fallout, show Washington's confidence in the effectiveness of the drone program against al-Qaida and
    Taliban fighters who allegedly use Pakistan as a base.

    Two Pakistani intelligence officials said four Hellfire missiles were fired at a house used by suspected militants in Dre Nishter village of North Waziristan.

    All the Pakistani officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

    They said some foreign militants belong to the Turkmenistan Islamic Movement were believed to have been killed, along with other local fighters from the Bahadur group.

    Militants from several central Asian countries have joined Afghans, Arabs, and others in Pakistan.

    North Waziristan is one of several tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan that are hubs of militant activity. Bahadur controls most of North Waziristan.

    The US rarely talks publicly about the covert CIA-run drone program in Pakistan.

    The drone attacks are a source of deep frustration and tension between the US and Pakistan.

    Islamabad says they violate its sovereignty and also cause civilian casualties.

    Their continued use has complicated efforts to normalize the relationship between Washington and Islamabad, including reopening supply routes through Pakistani territory to Nato and American forces in Afghanistan.

    Islamabad blocked the routes after American airstrikes accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

    The US in turn criticizes Pakistan for failing to crack down on fighters who stage attacks in Afghanistan.
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    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Drone Attacks Damage the US Interests

    At this sensitive moment, when Pak-US diplomats were negotiating a complex issue of restoring the NATO supply routes across Pakistan to Afghanistan in wake of the heightening political noise inside the country, US accelerated CIA-operated drone attacks, killing more than 50 people in North Waziristan.

    After a two-month pause in the aftermath of the US-led NATO deliberate air attack which killed 25 soldiers on Pakistan Army border posts on November 26 last year, and by setting aside Islamabad's strict measures such as suspension of NATO supply to Afghanistan and vacation of Shamsi Airbase, these strikes by the unmanned aircraft continue on Pak tribal areas.

    During his recent visit to India, while pampering New Delhi, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has repeatedly pointed out that drone attacks would continue on save havens of terrorists in Pakistan. Afterwards, in Kabul by reviving US old blame game, Panetta allegedly said on June 7 that the US was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan due to safe havens, "the country offered to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan."

    Leon Panetta's tough comments coupled with predator's strikes created complication to narrow the differences between both the countries, and the result was a deadlock, while both Pakistan and America were near to sign an agreement as US top officials remarked.

    In fact, attacks by spy planes are part of American covert war against Pakistan. Therefore, even President Barack Obama has defended these strikes on FATA under the pretext of its so-called counterinsurgency programme. On the one side, US top officials including Panetta has blamed Pakistan for cross-border terrorism, while on the other, American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad, based in Afghanistan have been sending well-trained militants in Pakistan, who not only attack the check posts of Pakistan's security forces, but also target schools and mosques. These agencies also support various subversive acts in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan besides backing Baloch separatism.

    Although without bothering for the violation of Pakistan's sovereignty, Washington has re-started these strikes by pilotless aircraft to destabilise our country for the collective strategic designs of US-led India and Israel, yet these strikes are not only counterproductive for Pakistan, but also for the US itself. Such a faulty policy is likely to damage American regional and global interests.

    In the last three years, more than 700 innocent civilians and only 14 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by the US unmanned air vehicles.

    Regarding drone attacks and casualties, New America Foundation pointed out in a recent report, "when the US drones attack Pakistan's tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, but it creates the anti-US sentiments among masses…the civilian killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistan…while killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?"

    In this respect, the major purpose of fresh wave of drone strikes was to thwart the recent offer of militants and Pakistan government for peace talks, and to provoke the tribal people, resulting into more suicide attacks inside the country. Another aim behind is also to incite the insurgents of FATA against the security forces. But, such a flawed policy will certainly culminate in more unity among the elected government, security forces and the general masses, consequently massive hostility towards Washington. In that scenario, the US policy of liberalism and democracy could badly fail, giving a greater incentive to the fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan.

    Sporadic strikes by the unmanned predators on tribal regions will cause drastic impact on the US war on terror, not only in our country, but also in Afghanistan where US-led NATO forces are facing defeatism. This action is likely to undermine international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, jeopardising American interests, while the foreign forces will complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. In this context, US high officials, especially Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistan's help for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario.

    Meanwhile, some other developments such as Pakistan's new relationship with Russia, enhancing regional cooperation with Iran, and rejection of US pressure to abandon the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project show that a shift in Islamabad's policy has already taken place in connection with Washington. While, tension exists in Pak-US ties, if strikes by the spy planes keep on going, the Pakistan government will be compelled to leave the US war against terrorism due to public backlash.

    Nevertheless, US drone warfare against Pakistan will be counterproductive bringing about other dire consequences for United States itself. In this context, both Iran and Pakistan might stand together to frustrate the US strategic designs. Moreover, their alliance with Syria would make the matter worse for America. In that scenario, a vast region from Pakistan to Somalia and Nigeria to Iraq and the Indian-held Kashmir will further be radicalised, bringing about more terrorism, directed against the Americans. Thus, American worldwide interests are likely to be jeopardised in these countries and the whole Middle East where the US has failed in coping with the Islamic militants directly or indirectly, and where in some Arab countries, resentment among the people is already running high against the pro-American rulers. These negative developments will further reduce the US bargaining leverage on rival small countries such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela etc.

    Besides, after the withdrawal of occupying forces, US flawed strategy will throw Afghanistan in an era of further uncertainty and chaos, intensifying country's intractable issues. And American small contingency in Afghanistan will not be in a position to cope with a perennial resistance of the Afghan Taliban. Now, European governments are cutting defense budgets, while the US is increasingly tilting towards defense challenges in Asia. In this drastic situation, many of NATO's other members which are facing economic problems, have little appetite for American foreign adventures. Even, they will be reluctant to fund American permanent military presence in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO troops as announced in the Chicago summit. Here question also rises whether the US, which accounts for three-quarters of NATO defense spending, will remain committed to the organization?

    It is of particular that after fighting a different war for ten years, American cost of war which has reached approximately 8 trillion dollars will further increase in wake of debt crisis, decline of dollar and acute recession, and other-related financial problems inside the country. These will give a greater setback to the US economy as compared other developed countries, while European and other western countries held the United States responsible for the global financial crisis. In the recent past, anti-capitalism which initially started in America, enveloped other European countries. In this respect, a greater rift will be created between the US and other western countries.

    Even in the US, in May, this year, the Pentagon has been under orders to cut spending by $487 billion from projected defense over the next decade as the Obama Administration tries to rein in its trillion-dollar deficit. Realising the ground realties, majority of the US lawmakers prefer other public welfare programmes. While, Americans are protesting against the prolonged war in Afghanistan including drone attacks particularly on Pakistan. Some American media anchors have also started opposing these strikes.

    On the one hand, US is trying to repair damaged ties with Islamabad, while, on the other, it is playing a double game with the latter. In this connection, despite the visit of US and NATO diplomats including commanders, by rejecting foreign duress for earlier restoration of NATO transport routes unilaterally, Pakistan's civil and military leaders remain firm on their stand that the issue of NATO supply lines would be decided in light of the parliamentary guidelines. Besides other related issues, predator's strikes are creating a greater impediment in reaching an agreement between Pakistan and the US.

    In the given situation, if President Obama continued drone attacks on Pakistan, he would damage American interests, and the US is likely to face the fate of the former Soviet Union in its worst form.

    Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

    http://paktribune.com/articles/Drone...ts-242932.html
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    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Drone strikes: There is no moralising the indefensible

    It is not surprising that ‘terrorism’ has become the bogeyman, in whose name, every last lunacy of the government can be justified; including committing acts that would otherwise be illegal and anathema to any civilised society. Using predator drones, equipped with hellfire missiles to summarily execute people based on ‘suspicious’ activities, without any due process of law, and even at the cost of substantial civilian deaths, all seem to be forgiven.

    Ignoring for a moment the bogus methodology of counting all military aged males in a drone strike zone as combatants, the focus on civilian casualties of drone attacks seems to miss the bigger question. This was neatly summarised by Dr Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the treasury;

    It has never been revealed how a single citizen, or any number thereof, could possibly comprise a threat to a government that has a trillion plus dollars to spend each year on security and weapons, the world’s largest navy and air force, 700 plus military bases across the world, large numbers of nuclear weapons, 16 intelligence agencies plus the intelligence agencies of its NATO puppet states and the intelligence service of Israel.

    It has also never been adequately explained why the most powerful military superpower in history, which overcame the mighty Wehrmacht, crushed the Imperial Japanese Army, and stared down a nuclear armed Soviet Union in an existential contest of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), now considers it necessary to carry out state sponsored assassinations, based on mere suspicion, of individuals who have none of the resources, technological sophistication, or military prowess of its erstwhile enemies.

    The reality of ‘insurgent math’ and addressing root causes:

    Notwithstanding the political instability caused by drone strikes, proponents tend to erroneously conflate short-term tactical victory with long-term strategic success. This fact is evident in the concept of ‘insurgent math’, coined by none other than the former commander of the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, retired General Stanley McChrystal, which rightly holds that,

    For every innocent person you kill, you create ten new enemies.

    In this respect, note that Faisal Shahzad, the so-called Times Square bomber, cited the indiscriminate killings caused by drone attacks to rationalise his terrorist act. As a matter of fact, one of the most important observations made by the declassified 2006 US National Intelligence Estimate report is that,

    The Iraq conflict has become the ‘cause celebre’ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.

    Resentment to indiscriminate civilian deaths caused by illegal invasions and drone strikes fuels more terrorism, which directly undermines the end goal of achieving regional peace and stability. It is occupation and invasion that breeds terrorism, not vice versa. Thus, drone warfare is wholly counterproductive, in that it does nothing to combat the root causes of militant extremism.

    Assassinations are not the proper mechanism for accountability:

    After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the perpetrators of those attacks were successfully tried and convicted for their crimes. Similarly, after the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Timothy McVeigh was held accountable and sentenced to death in federal court. Likewise, Mir Aimal Kasi, the person involved in killing two CIA employees in 1993, was also successfully captured in Pakistan, tried in a court of law, and sentenced to death.

    No one is arguing that terrorists should not be brought to justice for their abominable crimes. But as the examples above clarify, however, there are better mechanisms available for dealing with such crimes than summary executions without due process of law, that also risk heavy civilian casualties.

    Ideas cannot be defeated militarily:

    It is ironic that apologists point to ‘high-value’ militants ‘eliminated’ by drone strikes, but fail to realise that such individuals – no matter what their seniority level – are soon replaced by someone else. Since the 1960s, Israel has systematically assassinated hundreds of terrorists who were members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, with no proportional decrease in the nature of the threat it faces.

    Such intellectually shallow arguments essentially provide a sham justification for perpetual assassinations; a carte blanche for extra-judicial murders carried out in the name of preventing the ‘next generation’ of recruits. But as the successor to General McCrystal in Afghanistan and the current director of the CIA, General David Petreus, poignantly noted in this regard,

    You cannot kill your way out of an insurgency.

    Conclusion – moralising the indefensible:

    I know that drone warfare is very popular among most of my American friends. Moreover, I suspect that arguing for the sanctity of human life and in favour of protecting basic human rights of all people is probably not going to sit well with those who favour a more gung-ho, trigger-happy, ‘let’s kill’ approach.

    But when the entire basis of the post 9/11 war on terror is rooted in the claimed superiority of western moral values and traditions over those cherished by the terrorists, then advocating targeted killings of people without due process of law ─ the same acts which were cited as rationales to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place ─ results in a logical and moral contradiction.

    In advocating premeditated murder, proponents of drone warfare have accepted the premise that in order to fight the terrorists, we must imitate their violent ideology and tactics. In essence, we have now become the monsters that we pursue.

    We have moralised the indefensible; we have normalised extra-judicial, pre-meditated murder based on mere suspicion – all in the name of fighting ‘terrorism’.

    Although people often cite Eisenhower’s forewarning about the military industrial complex hijacking American foreign policy, my mind harkens back to an equally prophetic warning phrased by President John F Kennedy at the height of the Cold War in 1961;

    Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

    It’s a strange Kafkaesque world we live in!
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    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    If Americans were serious about tackling terrorism they would try to win hearts and mind. Something which they have failed at miserably as they imo have not tried
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    Pakistan not pushing for end to US drone strikes

    ISLAMABAD:

    Contrary to public posturing, Pakistani authorities are not pushing the US to halt drone strikes inside its tribal regions and are instead seeking control of human intelligence on the ground for target specification of their choice.

    “This is the maximum they have been seeking. Nothing more,” said an official privy to talks held this week between civilian and military leaders from Pakistan and the US that culminated in breaking a seven-month deadlock on the resumption of Nato supplies.

    The demand of seeking control of human intelligence vital to guide drone strikes is in sharp contradiction to a resolution passed by parliament earlier in the year, calling for cessation of attacks by the pilotless planes operated by Americans to hit top al Qaeda operatives.

    Officials said both political and uniformed leaders are on the same page when it comes to an opinion on drone hits but military high-ups and intelligence operatives are keener to have the remote control in their hands.

    “They know the US will never step back as they have been saying … so the idea is that it is better to have something that suits you than losing it all,” one of the officials said, explaining the reasons behind the contrast in private and public positions.

    There have been reports in the past that Pakistani military authorities are worried about the killing of activists from groups that do not create problems inside their country and focus their energy on across the border.

    Although the military usually denies this notion, a spokesperson was not available for comments on this information.

    Control on human intelligence, or Humint as it is technically called, would give Pakistani secret outfits a chance to select targets of their choice to be hit by drones, such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    Pakistan’s leniency is evident from the fact that despite all the hostility in its relations with the US after last year’s Salala attacks, drone strikes restarted in January or within two months of the incident.

    Last week, both countries managed to remove a key irritant troubling their ties by agreeing on reopening land routes through Pakistan for supplies to international forces stationed in Afghanistan.

    But several crucial issues remain unresolved, with drone strikes at the top of factors that continue to generate a hostile reaction by political parties and a cluster of religious groups opposed to the country’s war on terror role.

    Pakistani civilian and military leaders have been telling countrymen they want a complete end to drone strikes responsible for killing more innocent civilians than active al Qaeda associates.

    But their behind-the-scenes positions are quite different, said an official who spoke to The Express Tribune.

    The fact is that the drone campaign serves Pakistan’s objectives because top al Qaeda affiliates and its local associates are the targets in most cases.

    “That is where they like it. It is doing their job with minimum efforts and energy, and more importantly they don’t have to face the blame,” said the official.

    Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2012.

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Latest US drone strike in Pakistan kills 12 suspected militants

    A US drone killed at least 12 suspected militants on Friday when it fired missiles at a compound in Pakistan near the Afghan border, local intelligence officials confirmed.

    The death toll from the strike in the Dattakhel region in North Waziristan could rise, Pakistani authorities said.

    It comes just days after Washington and Islamabad resolved a protracted dispute over the use of unmanned drones, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologising for an air attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. The apology paved the way for Pakistan to permit trucks carrying Nato supplies to cross into Afghanistan for the first time in more than seven months.

    In a further move to mend relations, Clinton is due to meet with Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in Tokyo on Sunday on the sidelines of a conference on Afghanistan.

    Friday's strike is the latest in a string of deadly attacks launched by unmanned American aircraft.

    The CIA has stepped up their use of drones in North Waziristan, an area seen as a hub for militant groups aligned with the Taliban.

    Eight people were killed there in a drone strike on Sunday. It followed a number of other such strikes in June.

    Under a strategic review conducted earlier this year, the Pentagon announced it will increase the number of unmanned armed crafts in its arsenal by almost a third.

    But the use of drones is highly controversial, with a large chunk of the Pakistani public – as well as human rights activists around the world - resenting their use due to the high number of none military casualties.

    Figures from the London-based Bureau of Investigative journalism show that CIA drones stuck Pakistan 75 times in 2011, causing up to 655 fatalities.

    The majority of those killed were alleged militants, but as many as 126 civilians also have lost their lives, the bureau's figures suggest.

    Islamabad has demanded a halt in the US programme of drone attacks and their continued use has strained relations between the two countries.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...e-kills-twelve
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    Illegal drone campaign

    Please post incidents of drone strikes on this sticky thread, rather than on separate threads.

    Trolling will not to be tolerated in this regard. Genuine mistakes will not be punished. I'll make sure no incident of terror is posted outside this thread, it helps keep the forum clean.
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  11. #11
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    US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter supports drone strikes



    Pakistan Observer

    Hub: Defending CIA drone attacks in lawless tribal belt, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter Saturday said that these attacks help in eliminating terrorists, the common enemy of US and Pakistan.

    Speaking to media here, Munter said that US is committed to obliterate the safe sanctuaries of militants who attack both Pakistanis and Afghan people.

    US drones fired at least 10 missiles in North Waziristan Agency on Friday night, killing at least 21 people on Friday a couple of days after it got Nato supplies re-opened.

    He said it targets militants, having safe havens in Pakistani areas near Afghan border. However, independent sources said often civilians are killed in the US attacks which prove counter-productive and provide the militants with the opportunity to recruit local people.

    The US ambassador reiterated that Washington is concerned over Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline deal.

    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=163835

  12. #12
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    The drones have on numerous times been denounced an illegal entity and the USA simply ignore this as they believe they are above the law - amazing he suggests his "concern" over Pak - Iran pipeline deal. Its non of their business. They cant decide for Iran and Pakistan and dictate to us. Time for the US to shut up and put up!
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    Drone hits up after Nato supplies resumption

    RAWALPINDI - The reopening of NATO supply line to Afghanistan has intensified the US drone attacks over Pakistani tribal areas in which hundreds of innocent people have so far been killed.Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) long march from Quetta to Chaman bordering Afghanistan and then a sit-in by thousands of activists remained successful and also sent a strong message to America that the whole nation had rejected the NATO supplies resumption and was against the US intervention in to Pakistan’s internal affairs.These views were express by DPC Chairman Maulana Sami-ul-Haq while talking to media men at the Benazir Bhutto International Islamabad Airport (BBIIAP) after his arrival here from Queeta on Monday.He was flanked by DPC central leader Maulana Ameer Hamza and coordinator Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh.Talking to the media, Maulana Sami said that the authorities kept halted NATO supply line for three days and hidden all the tankers carrying goods for NATO forces behind the fences after seeing a huge number DPC activists from Queeta to Chaman, who also staged a sit-in along the Afghan border.He said that this reopening of NATO supply line was totally against the Parliament’s resolution and a blow to the sentiments of people of Pakistan. He said that the government should hit the US drones. He said that NATO supply should be blocked again as it was causing a swift increase in drone attacks in tribal areas.He said that a conspiracy was being hatched on international level to create unrest in Balochistan and to separate it from Pakistan. However, DPC while holding a long march against NATO supplies revival has given a positive impression that no force would be allowed to shed the blood of innocent Balochs.The DPC Chairman added that he had also made it clear to Afghan President Hamid Karazai to quit the American war on terror and help those who were battling for freeing Afghanistan from US clutches. He said that it was quite worried that if America wanted to pull out troops from the war-ravaged country then why she was collecting heaps of lethal arms and ammunitions there. “It is feared that America can start a war in Balochistan after leaving Afghanistan,” Maulana Sami said adding that the long march has made it clear that the Muslims of two neighbouring countries were united against the super power and its allies.“The movement launched by DPC will be peaceful as we will not halt NATO tankers with guns,” he said.When asked whether DPC will join PTI rally against drone attacks from Peshawar to Waziristan in September, Maulana blasted PTI Chief Imran Khan saying, “Imran has made a long-term planning but never acted upon it. September is very far. Here decisions are taken within hours. Imran should march towards Waziristan tomorrow, we will join him”.He hastily added that how a leader could assemble people against the drone attacks, who did not utter even a single word in Peshawar’s gathering against revival of NATO supplies.Responding to another query, Maulana Sami said that despite his personal interaction, no political leader of major parties joined the DPC long march from Lahore to Islamabad.He refused to comment when the journalists raised a question regarding the statement of US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron P Munster about PML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Nonetheless, Maulana Ameer Hamza melted the ice saying, “The silence of both political leaders on the issue has cleared the situation.”

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-ne...ies-resumption
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  14. #14
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    ISI chief to discuss drones in US: official






    Pakistan's head of intelligence will next week visit the United States to resume talks on drone strikes, the thorniest aspect of Pakistani-US relations, an official said Wednesday.

    It is the first time in a year the head of the ISI intelligence agency flies to Washington, signalling a thaw in relations beset by crisis since US troops found and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011.

    Lieutenant General Zaheer-ul-Islam, who was appointed in March, will hold talks with CIA director David Petraeus on US drone strikes, counter-terror cooperation and intelligence sharing.

    But the battle lines have long been drawn and there is little indication that in the talks next week Pakistan will win any concessions on drones, given the huge level of distrust between Islamabad and Washington.

    A senior Pakistani security official said Zaheer-ul-Islam would demand an end to US attacks against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and again ask for the means for Pakistan to carry out the attacks instead.

    Islamabad has been increasingly vocal in its public opposition to the drones, which leaders quietly approved initially, as its alliance with Washington crashed to its lowest ebb in a decade.

    "This visit comes against the backdrop of extensive consultations between civilian and military leadership and the general has been authorised to take a firm stand on drones issue during his talks," the official told AFP.

    "We need this precision strike capability to avoid collateral damage and its political fall out. The idea is that the US develops the target and tells us, and we destroy it ourselves," the official added.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-ne...s-drones-in-us
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    Last edited by Aryan_B; 4th November 2013 at 15:15.

  15. #15
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Spymaster to ‘talk tough’ on drones





    ISLAMABAD - A high-level meeting co-chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Wednesday discussed the regional security with focus on prime minister’s visit to Afghanistan and US-Pakistan relations.

    ISI Director General Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam, who is visiting the US next week, has been authorised to take a determined stance on the issue of drone attacks during his talks with the US officials, a foreign agency quoted an official source as telling. He will seek direct control of predators for precision strikes and for minimising their political fallout.

    Official sources told The Nation that the meeting discussed regional security, militants’ attacks from across the border, situation after resumption of Nato supplies and Pak-US relations. The prime minister briefed the participants about his talks with Saudi King Abdullah on reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

    The meeting reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to facilitate Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process in Afghanistan. The meeting was informed that ISI DG during his visit to the US would discuss new framework for intelligence sharing between the two countries.

    Pakistan’s spymaster would meet his CIA counterpart and other senior US officials to discuss evolving some mechanism to end the attacks by drones, US weapon of choice which Pakistan believes was counterproductive to anti-terrorism efforts.

    The meeting held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr was attended among others by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi, Secretary General to the President Salman Faruqui, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt.

    Agencies add: Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam will resume talks on intelligence cooperation and drone strikes, the thorniest aspect of Pakistani-US relations, an official said Wednesday. It is the first time in a year the head of the ISI flies to Washington, signalling a thaw in relations beset by crisis since US troops found and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011.

    Zaheerul Islam, who was appointed in March, will hold talks with CIA Director David Petraeus on counter-terror cooperation and intelligence sharing, a senior Pakistani security official told AFP. But the differences and intractability on both sides highlight the tensions of the fractured anti-terror alliance, despite Islamabad’s decision to end a seven-month blockade on Nato supplies for Afghanistan.

    The United States is understood to be keen for a return of US military personnel to assist Pakistani officers in the northwest, where Washington says Taliban havens are exacerbating the war in neighbouring Afghanistan. “It is not true,” said the official, when asked if Pakistan may allow such a return.

    Islamabad’s desire is an end to US attacks against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and the means for Islamabad to carry out the attacks instead. But on that, the battle lines have been drawn and there is little indication of concessions, given the level of distrust between Islamabad and Washington.

    “The general has been authorised to take a firm stand on the drones’ issue during his talks,” the official told AFP. “The visit has the full backing of the political and military leadership,” he said. “We need this precision strike capability to avoid collateral damage and its political fallout. The idea is that the US develops the target and tells us, and we destroy it ourselves,” the official added.

    Islamabad has been increasingly vocal in its opposition to the drones, which leaders quietly approved initially, as its alliance with Washington crashed to its lowest ebb in a decade. Pakistan says American raids are a violation of sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment.

    But US officials are understood to believe the attacks too important to give up, although the number has declined as relations have nosedived. Many also distrust Pakistan’s willingness and ability to go after militants deemed a threat to the United States.

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-ne...ough-on-drones
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    Last edited by Aryan_B; 4th November 2013 at 15:16.

  16. #16
    Forum Administrator bilalhaider's Avatar
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    I think a deal might be in the offing that Pakistan will control the cross-border infiltration into Eastern Afghanistan from its end, in exchange of an agreement on drone strikes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilalhaider View Post
    I think a deal might be in the offing that Pakistan will control the cross-border infiltration into Eastern Afghanistan from its end, in exchange of an agreement on drone strikes.
    This is a raging sore and not helping sentiment in Pakistan. America needs to come to a deal with PA.

  18. #18
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    Germany probes 2010 drone strike death in Pakistan

    Published: July 20, 2012

    BERLIN: The German federal prosecutor’s office has opened a probe into the 2010 death of a German national in a drone strike in a Pakistan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, a spokesman said Thursday.

    He confirmed a report to be published Friday by Germany’s Tageszeitung newspaper on the attack in North Waziristan on a purported hideout for foreign and homegrown militants linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

    In a statement the prosecutor’s office said the investigation launched on July 10 “aims to find out if the use of drones which led to the death of the German citizen is in line with international law”.

    The man, identified only as Buenyamin E., was killed on October 4, 2010, the office said.

    Germany said at the time it was in contact with Pakistan over five German Islamists killed in a US drone attack in the lawless tribal belt.
    Berlin is the third biggest contributor of troops to the 130,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force after the United States and Britain. It has 4,900 soldiers in Afghanistan but 500 are set to be withdrawn by 2013 before a complete pullout.
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  19. #19
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Drone buzz

    A well-informed report by a news agency and media leaks in the United States and Pakistan have indicated the broad parameters in which talks between the head of Pakistan’s ISI and his American interlocutors in Washington would take place. The Pakistani general would again demand cessation of lethal attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for which Pakistan’s tribal belt has been a testing ground. The difference reportedly would be that he would outline an alternative in which the intelligence gathered by the drones would be shared with Pakistan and its F-16 fleet would take out the ‘enemy’ as Americans monitor the operation. Media in the US has warned that the UAV campaign will, nevertheless, continue under the CIA as now and US President Barack Obama would continue to reject the demand by several Western experts to hand it over to the American armed forces that are more sensitive to the laws of war. Drone attacks inside Pakistan began under President George W Bush and gathered great momentum under President Obama.

    There is no information in the public domain as yet if the Pakistani demarche would restrict itself to questions of sovereignty and management of public opinion in Pakistan or also touch upon numerous other issues including the legal and ethical implications of the use of killer machines — flying robots — that are being debated all over the world. Some of these issues got highlighted not so much by the civilian death toll on Pakistani soil as by the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen by a drone in Yemen.

    A brief reference to some of the points raised in the debate may be in order. First and foremost, there is the persistent argument that deaths caused by drone attacks, especially the civilian deaths, have actually helped al Qaeda and the Taliban to recruit more volunteers. Secondly, there is the concern that the campaign has almost abolished the otherwise sacrosanct legal obligation to capture and bring to trial the criminals and suspects in question. Third, there have been misgivings about the procedures with which victims are selected. The fact that President Obama has put himself at the apex of this process of ‘nomination’ has been supported and attacked. The supporters have argued that it reflects the great care and discretion that a liberal president exercises while authorising killings by CIA’s drones. The opposing opinion is that the actual process involves a weekly list by numerous intelligence sources of proven terrorists and ‘suspects’ based on circumstantial evidence and that the presidential scrutiny cannot be foolproof. It is an important point with a bearing on the Pakistani offer to act on drone intelligence. Will the Pakistani authorities carry out any confirmatory procedures of their own or just carry out the recommendations made by the CIA? Parliament has an inescapable responsibility to elicit more information on Pakistan’s alternative plan, even if it is shot down in Washington.

    Similarly, the entire defence of drone deaths on the ground that civilian deaths are only a fraction of the enemy combatants killed by them has been questioned by analysing the counting method, which according to troubled US officials considers “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants”. This is outrageous and parliament should ensure that the government publishes a list of all the dead and wounded whether the drone stroke is unauthorised as now or in future strikes by drones or F-16s, if the alternative plan is ever accepted.

    It is a measure of unease about the legal and moral questions that efforts are made to construct a moral justification of killings by UAVs. The main argument is that compared with other methods the percentage of innocents who perish while terrorists are hunted is small. This argument is taken to absurdity when the apologists say that drones do away with the need to stage another Dresden or another Tokyo fire storm. These war time atrocities had complex motivations with the preponderant calculation that mass destruction was necessary to break the will of Nazi Germany and militaristic Imperial Japan.

    The issues connected with drone strikes should not be obfuscated in the name of expediency as the UAV systems are the weapon of choice for the future and are registering an astonishing growth rate in production and deployment. Not to be forgotten is the fact that before long the US would not be the principal owner of these systems. To re-phrase and modify a comment by The Economist, the world has “a potent new weapon” and now it needs to adapt it to international law.

    Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.
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  20. #20
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    UK parliamentarians want Obama to stop drone attacks in Pakistan

    A squad of UK parliamentarians have written to President Barack Obama to stop drone attacks in Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported on Thursday.

    The 12 parliamentarians in a letter written to the United States said that the Britain and Western countries are under threat because drone attacks provide justification for future terrorist activities.

    The letter also stated that innocent people are killed in drone strikes.

    The parliamentarians said that the attacks are creating hatred for the US amongst Pakistanis and they are also harming a British allied country’s sovereignty.

    According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, one drone strike has hit Pakistan every four days on average under Obama.

    The bureau further said that most of the 2,292 to 2,863 people reported to have been killed in the strikes were low-ranking militants, but that only 126 fighters had been named.

    It added that there were credible reports of civilian casualties numbering between 385 and 775 civilians, including 164 to 168 children.


    http://tribune.com.pk/story/413297/u...s-in-pakistan/
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