ISLAMABAD: Alleging army of tacitly allowing drones strikes, Senator Farhatullah Babar said drone has been the only effective weapon against militants — though such attacks were counterproductive and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senator while opening the debate on Pakistan’s foreign policy urged the government to make the drone strikes “legal”. The best possible way of doing so would be acquiring drone technology from United States, he suggested.
“We must admit that drones took out the most-wanted terrorists who were the worst enemies of Pakistan,” said Senator Babar. “The government should ask the US to transfer drone technology so that we can legally use it against militants,” he added.
Criticising Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led provincial government’s strategy of blocking Nato supply routes passing through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), he said “No such protest would stop drones.”
He quoted the Salala incident after which the PPP-led federal government, on military’s insistence, had blocked Nato supply routes throughout the country. However, it did not stop drone attacks, he added.
“Drone attacks would continue until we continue tolerating foreign militants on our lands and do not revisit our existing political narrative,” said the PPP senator. He added that Pakistan under UN resolutions was bound to flush out foreign militants from its territory.
The existing political narrative on drones was also misdirected. It was supporting the militants’ narrative who wanted to take over the state. Senator Babar said there was no harm using the drone technology if it was effective in eliminating terrorists. However, the government must ensure that they are carried out in a legal way.
Senator Babar came down hard at military who he accused of having tacit understanding with the US on drone attacks. The missile strike that killed Commander Nek Mohammad in Waziristan, the then chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, was carried out by the CIA through a predator drone. But the military had claimed that they killed Nek Mohammad in an operation.
The real story was revealed a month later by a local journalist. “He [journalist] was then kidnapped and killed, soon after his story was published,” said the PPP senator.