Game of Drones

Published: October 6, 2012

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@ tribune.com.pk

It is an easy question whether or not to condemn indiscriminate killing machines. Drones are mechanical remote weapons of destruction and are thus very difficult for anyone to like; as a general principle. “Indiscriminate” is the operative word here; a primary opposition to the use of drones is or should be on the fact that they do not make an effective distinction between a militant and an innocent civilians. The Taliban, on the other hand, are not ‘indiscriminate’. The attack on schools, funerals, shrines and hospital emergency wards cannot be explained by an intention to inflict random violence. They, in fact, not only discriminate but very meticulously plan and choose the most vulnerable targets which in most cases are all innocent civilians.

It is always tedious to draw moral equivalences between two offences. However, unfortunately, this is the situation that we find ourselves in. It is not only the numbers, although it might also be instructive to look up the number of civilian causalities caused by terrorist attacks and by drones. One major argument advanced by Mr Imran Khan and those participating in his “peace march” is the breach of our sovereignty by drone attacks. While this is a completely defendable argument, Mr Khan has sought and successfully received the permission of the Taliban to continue with his excursion. Let me belabour the implications of this; Mr Khan does not believe that the Pakistani state has enough control over the area to apply for permission or to ask for a no-objection certificate from the state and had to approach the Taliban for their lofty go-ahead. This makes the question of sovereignty rather problematic. The United States, Mr Khan and the Taliban are in rare agreement on one point here; that we do not have any sovereignty to lose in the Tribal Areas.

To show solidarity with the civilian victims of drone attacks is admirable and Mr Khan would have had a lot more support had he not asked for — or if given unsolicited, had strongly and publicly refused — the offer of protection from the militants. That would have been courageous; otherwise, he will go as their representative or, at best, an invitee of the militants. And that would be setting a very dangerous precedent. With one political gimmick, Mr Khan would have acknowledged the Taliban as not only a legitimate negotiating party but also conceded their control over the Tribal Areas. It is not just poor politics; it would mean elevating their ideology of murder to the mainstream. I hope the fairly recent YouTube clips of the TTP beheading our soldiers have not been erased from our collective memories. To ask for assurances from the TTP for a “peace march” would be a new low, worse than the Swat peace deal. There is no “peace” in capitulation in the face of an elementary challenge.

Drone attacks are arguably illegal; however, the fantastic inductive leap which seeks to absolve the TTP of the murder and destruction on the basis of drone attacks is inarguably immoral. The militants represent an ideology of nihilism, which existed before drone attacks began and will continue long after they have ceased. There is no justification for the present arrangement of drone attacks to continue; however, it is certainly not an excuse for trying to rationalise terrorism. If one has to be fussy about causation, then let me go for high stakes and say this: drone attacks began and continue because of the ideology of murder and not the other way around. Pandering to the militants and being an apologist ensures that both suicide fanatics and drone attacks continue, perhaps up to a point of no return.

One ignored aspect of this talk of a “Peace March” is the insult to the innocents who died as collateral damage to drone attacks. Mr Khan and other anti-drone activists lump them together with terrorists because of whom the strikes had to be carried out and there was “collateral” damage in the first place. It is further compounded by the contemptuous and contemptible assumption that the TTP represent the people of Waziristan.

The federal government has repeatedly issued very strong statements against drone attacks. Let us not pretend now that the federal government is in charge of foreign policy in general, and drones in particular. Mr Khan has already changed the destination of his march once, shifting it from North to South Waziristan, he can, perhaps, make a further amendment and do it before the GHQ, Rawalpindi or the PAF headquarters. It will be more courageous and, perhaps, more effective, but we already know that he cannot do that.

This is not about Waziristan, this is not even about drones; this is about politics and very dangerous and cowardly politics. By indulging and showing indecent deference to these murderers, Mr Khan is insulting thousands of those dead in suicide attacks over these years. The crucial mistake that he has been making and still continues to make is that his surrender means nothing to the TTP in the long run. There is irony in someone aspiring to be the prime minister of this country to display meekness and acquiesce to the TTP; who, lest we forget, consider democracy, the Constitution and other such Western concepts as Kufr. As a side note, someone who is not willing to enter into a coalition with any mainstream political party because all of them are evil, etc. is almost begging to gain the approval of the TTP; this does have the makings of a ‘Tsunami’.

We have a responsibility to fight these militants and if drones are not the best way to do so, other alternatives should be explored. One alternative that should not be on the table, not after thousands of deaths, is surrender. This is precisely what Mr Khan is advocating. By all means, go and play your political games and make populist, unrealistic promises, but a line needs to be drawn when the memory of thousands of our martyrs and the survival of our society is at stake. Unless, of course, Mr Khan can give us his solemn word that his new friends are willing to lay down their weapons and stop killing our innocent civilians.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2012.

Reader Comments (75)

  • s shah
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:24PM

    A very brave, well written, well reasoned article. Excellent! You said what really needed to be said. 100% agree.

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  • Muddasir
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:24PM

    for you saroop ijaz: Dr. Shahid Masood broke a news today: “Good News for Pro-Drone Guys.A Rally may be arranged from Gloria Jeans to Mocha coffee in islamabad & few LGBT groups r coming from abroad.” do join.

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  • Logic Europe
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:28PM

    what a wounder ful insight you have in to mr Khans antics but , sir,he lacks
    intelligence and speaks ,thinks and acts like people of ordinary intellect and that is the reason they like him, No matter what you have to defeat Taliban ,thay will never compromise or come into mainstream

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:39PM

    Drones are here to stay. They will become more and more advanced. More and more of them will be pressed into service. Pakistan just can’t stop these drones. If you are not willing to finish off the Taliban, fine America will finish them without the boots on the ground.

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  • Sami Anwer
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:42PM

    Lolz – Dont sweat it – Saroop – PTI achieved what it wanted to achieve – International Media Coverage of the issue. Now please relax and do something positive – damn everybody think they will get famous over night by PTI bashing – tsk tsk. Lamer

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  • zeeshan Khan
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:43PM

    Who are the Lannisters in this scenario?Recommend

  • Parvez
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:01PM

    You always manage to put your point across very well. What seems to be in confusion is the question ‘ Who are behind the TTP ? ‘ because to portray them simply as a bunch of murdering thugs just doen’t cut it.

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  • Oct 6, 2012 - 11:02PM

    Long Live Imran Khan !!! The more propaganda against Khan, the more admirers he gathers.
    Lets Give peace a chance !!!

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  • Mohammad Assad
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:04PM

    @2:20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7CkOJPnclQ&feature=related
    .
    .
    Imran Khan says Pakistan has to get out of this war and make it its own war…the government has to stop to be perceived as higher ed Gun of the US….
    .
    Please educate yourself before writing
    .
    .
    And please ET post this comment.Recommend

  • AR1
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:07PM

    And where has anybody said that Imran Khan actually SOUGHT no objection from the Taliban? Previously when the statement came from Taliban that they would attack him with bombers, the PTI issued a statement that they were not afraid and would still continue to go. your allegations are baseless.

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  • Lala Gee
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:15PM

    @Author:

    “Mr Khan does not believe that the Pakistani state has enough control over the area to apply for permission or to ask for a no-objection certificate from the state”

    Never heard that you need prior permission or NOC to travel across different places within your own country, except for foreigners in certain cases. Also, why do you want IK to deliberately provoked TTP terrorists despite the fact he didn’t ask them for protection.

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  • sabi
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:20PM

    Opposition of taliban to’ peace march’ clearly indicates that they are afraid of their exposure as the real threat to tribals as well as Pakistan.Tribals may take this oppurtunity, as in case of Swat.to expose taliban’s attrocities.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:22PM

    No one like drones or articles that drone.
    .
    Have mercy on us and keep your opinions to yourself.

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  • Umar
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:33PM

    Nicely articulated. Imran Khan’s naïveté is simply mind boggling.

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  • Lala Gee
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:33PM

    @Author:

    You are dead against the indiscriminate violent acts of Taliban (TTP), but feel no scruples while advocating the indiscriminate killings by drone attacks. I am sure you must have read several recent study reports conducted by American institutes which put the effectiveness of these strikes to less than 10%. If religious extremist is bad, so is liberal fascism.

    1- Drone strikes kill, maim and traumatize too many civilians, U.S. study says – CNN

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Ecellent article. Whole nation has rejected his idea of peace march. Out of ten million supporters, only few dozen were present at the starting point. When he left Rawapinidi/Islamabad, less than one thosuand people were with him, and those too were mostly media personalities.

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  • Javaid R. Shami
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:41PM

    It is said that one cannot win an argument against an ignorant fool, Dim Im is such an ignoramus.

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  • shafqat
    Oct 6, 2012 - 11:42PM

    Excellent review

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  • Malik Imran Safdar
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Isn’t it naive to allege that every discriminate attack is carried out by the Tali-bans ? Don’t u think there are other forces in disguise of Tali-bans to malign and tarnish their image in public, using ‘madressa’ educated and state abandoned crowd for there on malicious designs. Our security apparatus have not been able to track the supply chain of the suicide bombers, its really easy to put responsibility of every attack on TTP or there spokesman taking credit out of blue.In an impoverish country money can buy u outfits like that in the name of Islam, who even themselves are oblivious of the source of funding.The recent attack on the Kamra Air base and subsequent arrests blatantly suggest this narrative.

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  • Ahsan
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:13AM

    Alternative option to drones was a joint operation of Pakistani military and Nato forces in the Pak-Afghan border belt. Pakistan did not agree to it. Neither did the Nato stressed upon it. Anyway drones did a job which even couple of army divisions would not have done – they helped make Afghanistan a peaceful country. Onwards we should worry about Pakistan only.Recommend

  • Arindom
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:15AM

    A drone a day , keeps terrorists away.

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  • Arifq
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:16AM

    Bravo Saroop, bravo! Surrender is not a choice, excellently put.Recommend

  • mahakaalchakra
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:19AM

    In March 2011, a top Pakistan military commander Major-General Ghayur Mahmood spoke to a group of Pakistani reporters on a rare trip to Miranshah, the administrative center of North Waziristan. He said that in information gathered by the Pakistan military, most of those killed by the drones were hardcore militants, and the number of innocents killed was relatively low.

    If the Pakistani establishment was serious about their own anger, they would shoot the damn thing down, but they don’t and probably never will, which quite clearly means that they are also on board. One can compare the action of Drones with that of Afghanistan or Pakistan Taliban. Taliban action are more grievous. In a way Taliban are remote controlled surface drones.

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  • Asif Ali khan
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:22AM

    Of course Imran’s drive against drones will boost the morale of terrorists. Drones & suicide bombers both are remote controlled but Drones kill criminals & suicide bombers kill innocent people. Why Imran want to have friendly relations with Religious extremists? This question need to be answer. The most important thing for a politician is VOTE.Imran knows that to be anti America is popular these days. Media in past played a big role to make people convinced that Drone is the root cause of militants reaction & all these suicide attacks, common people are scared, they think if Drones are stopped, their will be no destruction & suicide attacks.
    People have short memory ,they forgot that terrorists & foreign militants came & occupied parts of FATA in Pakistan much earlier than Drones. Actually drones came after them.

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  • Observer
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:41AM

    HumbugRecommend

  • elementary
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:53AM

    Without going into chicken and egg question of which came first ; Drones or the Suicide attacks or which cause more innocent casualties,can’t we agree on the fact that these killings have to stop, now.Ceasefire.That’s what IK is out to achieve.You may disagree with the method, you can atleast agree with the purpose,or else suggest an altenate method that
    does not involve killings.

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  • Zulfiqar Ali Choudary
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:04AM

    May Allaha gives you wisdom. For an educated person, I am quotting Hadith. We may disagree, but can’t omitt the fact: What PTI/IK has done (awareness on a global level), no one else has done for these oppressed people.

    “When you see an evil act you have to stop it with your hand. If you can’t,then at least speak out against it with your tongue. If you can’t, then atleast you have to hate it with all your heart. And this is the weakest of faith.”

    Prophet Mohammed (Sahih Muslim,Book 1, Number 79:)
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  • Oct 7, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Well said the right direction for the PTI march should be towards GHQ or PAF headquarter.

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  • Muneeb Mukhtar
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:19AM

    You fail to see that Imran Khan might be playing very clever politics. By seeming to ask TTP’s permission he has insured the security of tens of thousands of people participating in the rally, plus has probably won over many of the locals who are tired of all the fighting and death. He cannot turn a blind eye to TTP’s presence as it is there and it is powerful. It will take time and support from locals to weed them out and Khan might be playing the Taliban.Perhaps we cannot see the bigger picture yet.

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  • Badu Jaa
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:20AM

    Awesome article. I guess it is very difficult to better the argument against the mindless and filthy politics of Mr. stupid khan.

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  • Liberal
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:27AM

    Dear Sarooor Ijaz . I mean sarooop Ijaaz .. Taliban themselves denied that they are not going to provide security .. and apparently this march became the biggest international news from Pakistan after abbotabad operation covered by almost all prominent channels and news papers …

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  • Fauzia
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:33AM

    Very good analysis. Imran khan should also provide an alternative strategy for combatting terrorism.

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  • Maxt
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:39AM

    The drones seem to be quite effective in targeting militants / terrorists in northern areas. I mean we regularly receive news like “drone attack: 10 taliban killed”, “drone attack: 7 taliban killed”…. etc. When is the last time we got a news report about a drone attack killing many civilians? It seems like a long time since then. The drones have high resolution video cameras and precision missile system.

    On the other hand, when the Pak army did the operations against the TTP about 3/4 years back, hundred of thousands of civilians were forced out of their villages, there were a large number of casualties and there was massive destruction done in the northern villages.

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  • Pakistani Pashtoon Muslim
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:40AM

    good read. Imran khan playing politics on pashtoons blood what a shame PTI.

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  • Salma
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:44AM

    oh no! – so you also had to jump the bandwagon.

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  • Saqib Q
    Oct 7, 2012 - 2:48AM

    You are mixing up two different things.. PTI is not marching to Waziristan to support TTP. Khan has genuine stance against drones that it kills 90% of innocent people which results in increasing more militants. Your column suggests that Imran Khan is supporting TTP as you said;

    “Mr Khan can give us his solemn word that his new friends are willing to lay down their weapons and stop killing our innocent civilians”
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  • Reasonable
    Oct 7, 2012 - 3:10AM

    A fairly twisted point of view … but its yours to keep ;)

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  • Oct 7, 2012 - 3:10AM

    Mr. Saroop,

    If assumed you carried the sufferings of the people of Waziristan, which I believe you haven’t visited even once, wouldn’t you accept, assuming Khan is wrong in mind and intellect, the fact your write up comes a little late by like 4 years, precisely 5 or maybe 8..?

    Why the hullabaloo at this moment..? Wait for post-Waziristan chapter. This is going uphill and other parties will scamper to locate and identify their graves in Waziristan.

    As far as the federal permission and decree or NOC is concerned, first, there is virtually no writ to be seen anywhere, not even in metros. Carry a gun in the plane will be a possibility, pun intended. Former was not.

    Secondly, even if stoopeed Khan had to go through the red tape procedures, this march might have come 2 years later. Condoning it would entirely impossible.

    And if the Government, sorry The Respected and Dear Government had so much potential, forget Waziristan, that isn’t a major metro, its already gone to TTP supposedly and surreptitiously, it could have flexed and showed it muscles in Karachi at least. What happened? Okay, fine, terrorists are garbed and they can ride a bike at 500 Kmph, accepted, but why let lose the owners of the fire factory. Remember that or was it lost in illusion in envy of Khan’s FIRST step to RED ZONE..?

    Given the fact, kindly at least appreciate an honest stance. When are we as a nation will learn to appreciate..? At least appreciate, that’s free while we can DREAM big for free too and breathe as well, till now, in Pakistan.

    I rest my case.

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  • Oct 7, 2012 - 3:14AM

    Dear Saroop Ijaz,

    When you say that Drones are lethal machines which cannot discriminate b/w a civilian and terrorist, you are trying to justify the drone attacks on our soil. Drone attacks are breaching our sovereignty everyday, every time. Any shivered finger click can hunt down a child playing in play ground or a mother going to get water for her kids. There is not a single justification in this universe for killing an innocent human.

    If TTP do it using their ruthless ideology, they are the culprits, similarly if USA is outlashing innocents, they are equally culprit. Let we not here try to generalise any action by giving any justification for killing an innocent.

    Peace march as the name suggests, whatever it is, let it be a political stunt or a popularity gaining one, I least care, all that I care for is, there’s a man in Pakistan, who practically took step to protest against Drone Attacks by organising it in a very well manner. I couldn’t see any other leader, a member of civil society, or any person who had courage to highlight this grave issue on international manner just as Imran Khan did.

    We all must appreciate him instead of finding the scars on his shoes as it wouldn’t really hurt his popularity but unleash the frown faces of mess creators.

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  • Oct 7, 2012 - 3:18AM

    The bigger problem with ET is that even after posting such news, the writer here is not updated that Taliban didn’t gave permission or protection.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/447876/ttp-punjab-warns-pti-march-participants-of-painful-consequences/Recommend

  • Oct 7, 2012 - 3:21AM

    Plus I read so many points of Saleem Safi here. Is there a Plagiarism check?Recommend

  • Ejaz rasheed
    Oct 7, 2012 - 3:34AM

    Mr Ijaz I will agree with your last sentence which sums it all that lay down arms and no further loss of a Pakistani life is needed and tell USA to take and keep it’s war on terror to new places I will not elaborate there, USA will not win Afghanistan. A party like ji wants Pakistan Russia and China to be on side of the coin. Putin should be invited over and over again till he agrees we can give a 3 layered security to ik why not 6 layers for Putin.

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  • khan mashori
    Oct 7, 2012 - 3:45AM

    so the writer thinks that drones are the solution to win this war, after hitting so and so drones we will wipe out all the terrorists…isn’t it so?? just tell me one thing extremism n terrorism has increased decreased or has been static during this war???? off course augmented……..my dear plz suggest the solution if u have any except peace…dont just beat about the bush by leg pulling the one who is trying to do smthing positive

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  • salman
    Oct 7, 2012 - 3:52AM

    The statement from Taliban on sat that they are not providing protection does make this article somewhat of an exercise in futility. Perhaps you wrote it last week. But good attempt at putting up a strawman. Pti have never said they support Taliban but somehow that is what you have heard. The many times I have heard imran Talmud of this he has always said the solution is to identify, isolate and then deal with the miscreants using the local tribes etc. He has said this many times but some people refuse to listen.

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  • Ali
    Oct 7, 2012 - 4:02AM

    Seem like media takes their lines from the US. If they change their mind about drones , Pakistani media will change it too.

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  • Salma
    Oct 7, 2012 - 4:12AM

    even you had to jump the bandwagon Sarooooooop!

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  • Pakistani
    Oct 7, 2012 - 4:21AM

    Thank you for telling it like it is Saroop.. As always! Wish our people could see but I fear it’s all a bit too late now..

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  • azeem
    Oct 7, 2012 - 4:40AM

    These people can criticise IK but they are unable to suggest any solution to the problem. More than years, you killing your people and the result….. what will happen after 8 years…..No anwser from them

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  • Iftikhar
    Oct 7, 2012 - 4:41AM

    Same circulating arguments and above all equating the case of drone victim and TTP victims. Both needs to be taken up but one by one and by someone. If PTI had ventured for the TTP victims first, i am sure they would changed the argument. Its attack just attack purpose..Recommend

  • Hudson
    Oct 7, 2012 - 4:50AM

    I agree with you but one thing you missed to mention about the “Silent Corruption” General Kayani; who has an army of highly motivated guys meant only to be beheaded by TTP. Kayani is the only man prolonging this war to garner maximum bucks from the U.S. As far as TTP is concerned, I believe that only one batallion of Pakistani Army would be more than suffice to finish their business; as I know the Paki soldiers are too ruthless ONLY IF THEY ARE GIVEN A CLEAR ORDER TO ” GO AHEAD AND KILL EM” which Kayani and his commanders never gave.

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  • Abdul Jabbar Mohmand
    Oct 7, 2012 - 5:02AM

    MR Saroop Ijaz, how many times have you written about the plight of drone victims?
    Next time do something constructive: meet a few of the victims.

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  • T4u
    Oct 7, 2012 - 6:29AM

    @Lala Gee:
    American study must be accurate as Americans cannot be wrong , right ? Except when it comes to killing the killers that you support .

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  • Something Clever
    Oct 7, 2012 - 6:29AM

    @Sami Anwer:
    Sorry but, no. That was not what PTI was trying to achieve. Imran Khan has never stated that a single time. His goal was to “expose” the supposed dark side of the drones. Even if I humor you and say that he did, it didn’t help a thing. People were already talking about it for years. Whats funnier is it is getting extremely little coverage elsewhere even with attempting to take foreign NGOs and media along with him. It’s only mentioned as something that doubles as a little joke about his intelligence and proof of the militants being violent enough to justify drones. The man is a joke internationally. All he has is cricket for respect and nobody cares about cricket in the US. It’s not even interesting enough to be televised without special request for a channel that that would have to be paid for. You’re just playing the typical PTI supporter damage control that happens every time he does anything. If it doesn’t help his image, he suddenly said something nobody else has ever heard or read that could be mistaken for anything else due to misunderstanding. All of his silly claims are always blunt and direct. Not complicated and prone to being taken out of context.

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  • Oct 7, 2012 - 6:50AM

    “Drone attacks are arguably illegal -”

    An argument quickly dealt with. Under post-9/11 international law (Chapter VII U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373) Pakistan has the binding sovereign obligation to eliminate terrorists, terror-training camps, terror havens, and terror financing from its territory. No action to do so – as in N. Wazirstan – nulls Pakistan’s sovereignty. The area becomes contested territory, an open battlefield and U.S. drone strikes against Al Qaeda and allied Taliban are justifiable self-defense.

    What Pakistani refusal to openly cooperate with coalition military activity on its territory does hinder is action against non-Al Qaeda-allied terrorists – the Pakistani Taliban. This is why, in contrast to Yemen and Somalia each of which acknowledge and endorse drone strikes, no headway has been made against terrorists operating against Pakistan since the Swat operation two years ago.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Oct 7, 2012 - 7:02AM

    @Lala Gee:
    Drone strikes are far from “indiscriminate” with acurate real time targeting provided by forward observers ( ISI agents) in the target area, otherwise drone strikes would not be possible! I recall that after every strike, Pakistani security officers (those same ISI agents?) give strike assesment reports about who was killed and how militants cordon off the strike area to remove their own dead! For the Pakistani government and military, it is the best of both worlds, publicly condemning the drone attacks while not having to lose soldiers and civilians in an effort to assert Pakistani “Sovereignty” in the FATA region!
    As for the 10% number, please provide some reference, since the US would not waste the effort of the drone program for such small results!

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  • Mirza
    Oct 7, 2012 - 9:39AM

    A very balanced and timely Op Ed and kudos to SI and ET. TTP draw their support from the rightwing parties and their touts. There is an ongoing competition between PML-N and PTI as to who is more ideologue. Seeking permission from TTP or any other terrorist group who has killed more than 40 thousand innocent civilians is a new low even for a rightwing leader. Where is the revolution in this act?
    It a no brainer why these terrorists only butcher Pakistani soldiers and kill secular political leaders while the rightwing leaders roam freely. If Taseer would not have shown outrage against the persecution of minorities he would still be alive. Is there a political leader in Pakistan man enough to demand the facts about the presence of OBL in an army base with his harem? Again that would be the right thing to do a revolutionary thing for a politician in Pakistan.

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  • Oct 7, 2012 - 10:12AM

    we hear that there will be a march from Gloria Jeans to Mocha coffee in Islamabad in favour of Drones? Is it true?

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  • Mustafa Kamal
    Oct 7, 2012 - 10:30AM

    Brilliant piece.

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  • sidjeen
    Oct 7, 2012 - 10:46AM

    Excellent article once again Saroop. PTI supporters think that most people are against IK because he will win next election. they are wrong most people who comment on articles in the ET are by and large apolitical but if God forbid IK comes to power this country will sink faster than the titanic and that is the sole reason why most of us are against the politics of IK.

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  • Raw is War
    Oct 7, 2012 - 11:39AM

    great article.

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  • Prakash
    Oct 7, 2012 - 12:37PM

    One of the best written articles on the subject. Excellently articulated why the talks of neither sovereignty nor of civilian casualties cut much ice.

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  • Bill Maher (SFO)
    Oct 7, 2012 - 1:41PM

    @Author:

    Article as whole kinda makes sense, but the statement:
    “The Taliban, on the other hand, are not ‘ INDISCRIMINATE’. The attack on schools, funerals, shrines and hospital emergency wards cannot be explained by an intention to inflict ‘RANDOM’ violence.”

    Does any one else see the irony in it? There is not much difference between ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘randon’ in this context.

    Am I missing something?
    //..pc

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  • Learner
    Oct 7, 2012 - 2:25PM

    Small wonder the Indian trolls loved this article. What else do they come here for.

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  • choptocut
    Oct 7, 2012 - 2:53PM

    It is difficult for a Taliban to speak English, it is difficult for him to have a public following, and even more difficult to participate in TV talk shows. Imran Khan is doing all three.
    Very well written article Mr. Ijaz, carry on.

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  • observer
    Oct 7, 2012 - 3:34PM

    Has any one read this?

    http://dawn.com/2012/10/07/the-demagogue-in-khan/

    Khan knows what he’s doing. He’s being exactly the cynical politician he curses and spits on every hour of every day on every TV channel.

    In Fata, the drones fall in North Waziristan, and occasionally South Waziristan. Khan is going nowhere near where the drones strike.

    A must read.

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  • Raza Khan
    Oct 7, 2012 - 3:51PM

    Fantastic article! Unfortunately IK is not known for his intelligence instead of his good looks and that also during his young days!

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  • S. Siddiqi
    Oct 7, 2012 - 5:43PM

    Live in Pakistan love USA.

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  • sabi
    Oct 7, 2012 - 6:36PM

    If drones are killing innocents then why locals are not migrating in mass.We see mass migration only in case of military operation.

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  • Amer
    Oct 7, 2012 - 8:33PM

    @Rana Usman: there is perhaps no point of palgiarism here. Safi wrote something for someones (of course on their behest) and those someones might themselves have proded the author to rattle their point again.

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  • Tariq Bashir
    Oct 7, 2012 - 8:58PM

    “Mr Khan has already changed the destination of his march once, shifting it from North to South Waziristan, he can, perhaps, make a further amendment and do it before the GHQ, Rawalpindi or the PAF headquarters. It will be more courageous and, perhaps, more effective,…….”
    Actually IK should protest in the clouds where the drones comes from or stage a dharna in the sky…
    FAKE LIBERALS !!!

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  • IK for a better Pakistan
    Oct 8, 2012 - 2:58AM

    I dont blame you for thinking like this because youre the elite of pakistan and you probably live in a posh area. you have absolutely no idea what it may be like losing a family member or a dear friend in a drone attack. And of course youve been to a good school and watch american controlled tv, so naturally you know better than the rest especially Imran Khan right. For Gods sake stop criticising. If you know better, act educated and suggest solutions.

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  • Ibrahim Pataudi
    Oct 8, 2012 - 6:36AM

    Sir thank you so much for speaking up against what is most definitely irresponsible politics by Imran Khan. It is unfotunate that Imran Khan supporters tend to be blinded by his cult of personality, and take personal offense upon criticism of their dear leader.

    Let me also say that while IK is wrong (and should be criticized) for flirting with the Pakistani Taliban, drones are simply wrong. They are a cowardly way of fighting one’s enemy. While it is indeed arguable that drones are effective in the cirumstancs it can also be argued that gas chambers, napalm and nuclear bombs were effective in their respective circumstances as well. All is not fair in love and war and ends do not justify means. Aik din sab ne jawab dena hoga.

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  • Farid
    Oct 8, 2012 - 3:12PM

    This article is more anti Khan than anti Drones. That’s sad ; protesting drones is not condoning barbaric terrorism. One thing actually feeds the other lets understand that . IK has been harping upon that . Our lame duck parliament besides the govt has been made a mockery of ; let’s try break the vicious chain somehow

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  • Nauman ashraf
    Oct 9, 2012 - 5:07PM

    Very well reasoned and well written article sir! Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Oct 12, 2012 - 12:41PM

    Saroop Ijaz is a man of wisdom and courage, both of these traits are a rarity among the so called youth supporters of this PTI (the Perfect Tehreek-e-Inkar). What’s wrong in calling a ‘spade a spade’ ? Being an admirer and supporter of Imran budens you even more to scutinize his stands on issues, his supporters must make it their business to correct Imran’s vision by highlighting what he mistakes for right. One simple question—-if Imran wishes or considers it right that We the people of Pakistan and the State must “surrender” and “Capitulate”—— who gives him this right?

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