The Nation – Pakistan
After the pause of more than three weeks, drones, the American killing machines, have returned to our skies and resumed their operation. As usual our air space is open to them to operate at will and return to bases safely. The latest attack in Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan killed six innocent civilians.
Following the arrest of CIA agent Raymond Davis who murdered two Pakistani citizens in cold blood, it was generally thought that drone attacks had come to an end since he used to provide target intelligence to operational headquarters. With their resumption, it appears his replacement has taken over the charge. It is worth mentioning here that the ISI had categorically told TheNation Saturday that it had never been instrumental in providing intelligence to Americans for drones and would never indulge in any activity that is detrimental to the national interest or lead to violation of country’s territorial sovereignty.
A website run and managed by a professor at The Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute has documented over 124 drone attacks since 2004 and the last documented attack on May 11, 2010, in Miranshah shows that only 30 Al-Qaeda operatives perished in six years but more significantly 1266 civilians were killed and over 445 of them were left injured.
That makes a tally of 2.5 percent of strike rate against Al-Qaeda operatives. With such a poor rate of success, the US option of using drones could best be termed a big failure. These are authentic figures, and the world community must raise its voice at global forums to halt this ruthless killing of innocent civilian population.
The federal government must direct the Foreign Office to establish contact with the US Administration and convey to it the people’s indignation over drone operations. In case the request falls on deaf ears, there would be no option left but to challenge these drones as they appear in our skies. For this, all logistic support made available to the Americans for such operations should be withdrawn and Pakistan Air Force ordered to shoot them down as was done by the Hizb-e-Islami in Afghanistan and Passdarans in Iran.
We can only hope that our leadership would pick up the courage and do what needs to be done to stop the cruel American drones from attacking our tribal region at will, failing which it should be ready to face severe backlash of the people across the country.
The people of Pakistan are also keenly watching what is happening in the Middle Eastern region where American hegemony is being challenged and their puppet regimes are being overthrown.