Drone damage

It is our government and other organisations within the country which will need to come up with solutions.

Editorial April 18, 2013
The fact is that the drones also manage to seek out key persons or bases of militant operations. PHOTO: FILE

The drone issue is one that is quite evidently not going away very soon. It has come to the forefront again after the recent strike by an unmanned aircraft on what appeared to be a Taliban training centre in South Waziristan. Five persons were killed, others injured. As always, it is hard to determine the precise truth — but clearly, intelligence appears to have been good with the key militant target struck.

This is where the problem lies. Yes, the drone attacks are extremely controversial; they are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. Thousands of people, including civilians, have been killed as a result. But the fact is that the drones also manage to seek out key persons or bases of militant operations. And till we are able to deal with such sites of militancy ourselves or take into custody key commanders of the Taliban and other groups linked to them, the drone strikes are almost certain to continue.

The controversy surrounding the whole affair has also cropped up again with former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, in an interview to a foreign television channel, conceding that “on certain occasions” his administration had approved strategic strikes and given the go-ahead for them. The outgoing government has consistently denied any knowledge of the drones, however implausible this denial may be. Humanitarian issues are also involved. The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross has condemned drone attacks and termed them especially problematic in a country like Pakistan where there is no armed conflict. Other organisations, too, including Amnesty International, have spoken out against the drones. The death of civilians caused by them is unacceptable. But it is also true that it is our government and other organisations within the country, which will need to come up with solutions and find some answers to the broader questions which exist. We must hope that the government that comes in after the elections has the capacity to make efforts in this direction and overcome the many complications that exist.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2013.


Sexton Blake | 8 years ago | Reply

@Mirza: The reason why most countries do not have drone strikes is because their Governments will not allow it. If for example drones appeared over Iran they would be quickly brought down. The usual exceptions are third world countries who do not have the ability to bring drones down. Pakistan does not have this excuse. It has top rated equipment and could easily identify and bring down drones sent over by alien countries. In effect, Pakistan is allowing the US to kill thousands of its own innocent citizens. Any trained militant with half a brain knows how to evade drones

Abdullah | 8 years ago | Reply

Any state that colludes with others to kill and kidnap their citizens forgo the right to rule over them.

Not only they discredit themselves they discredit the system they use to rule.

So as the recent British Council survey shows. Only 24% supports Democracy Only 30% supports Dictatorships and whopping 40% demands sharia to be implemented in Pakistan.

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