Drones; enough said!

Drone missions are assaults not only on the citizens of Pakistan, but also on its sovereignty as a country as well.

Ummesalama Moosajee July 04, 2013
While doing some research on drone warfare, I came across a study conducted by the New York University and Stanford Law School that highlighted some controversial results of the CIA-funded drone military campaign in Pakistan. According to these findings, drones in Pakistan, used for the ‘targeted killing’ of extremist militants had a counterproductive role, which goes against the US proclamation that drones are a ‘surgically precise and effective tool’, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts.

The US government believes that its drone campaign is a surgical success that does not kill anyone except al Qaeda members and Taliban militants. Since 2006, drone strikes have resulted in the deaths of over 2,600 Pakistanis. However, according to the findings of the study mentioned above, drones caused a huge number of civilian casualties, causing only two percent of the deaths of ‘high level’ targets. Conveniently, these fatalities have either not been revealed or have been termed ‘collateral damage’ by the US government and the media.

Countries such as the US, the UK and Israel have increased their usage of drone technology, which is seen as an integral part of modern warfare. When US president George W Bush declared a “War on Terror” nearly a decade ago, the Pentagon had fewer than 50 drones. Now, it has around 7,500. While the drone industry thrives and more companies, research institutes and nations jump aboard the drone bandwagon, the US is setting a powerful international norm regarding the use of armed drones, which it uses for pre-emptive attacks against presumed terrorists in Pakistan.

Drone missions are assaults not only on the citizens of Pakistan, but also on its sovereignty as well. The safety of innocent civilians, whether put at risk at the hands of extremist Taliban or drone attacks, should be our top priority, as advocated by the UN Human Rights charter. Hence, saying that they should be condemned is not enough. We can no longer sit back in our homes and listen to politicians debate over this or have dinner table conversations regarding the issue.

Read more by Ummesalama here.
Ummesalama Moosajee An Intern for the Opinions desk at The Express Tribune
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


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