Britain funds surveys in FATA on US drone strikes

Foreign Office confirms it supported surveys which reveal drone strikes are causing resentment among locals.


Web Desk May 19, 2013
A file photo of a drone. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Britain’s Foreign Office on Saturday admitted that it has been funding public opinion surveys in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which reveal that US drone attacks are causing resentment among the locals, The Guardian reported.

Foreign Minister Alistair Burt confirmed that his office had “supported” such surveys in the past.

Respondents in the surveys who believed drone strikes were unjustified rose from 59 per cent in 2010 to 63 per cent in 2011.

The British government has previously refrained from publicly commenting on the US drone warfare in Pakistan.

On Saturday, Pakistan’s outgoing ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman urged Washington to end drone strikes in the tribal areas in order to help put a bilateral relationship on a sustained upward trajectory.

Commenting on the contentious issue of drone strikes the US carries out in pursuit of militant targets on Pakistani soil, Rehman noted that this kind of footprint roils anti-American discontent and fuels the “cognitive disconnect” between the two nations.

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