Now a day the most prominent news which is daily repeated with a new destructive look in the media and that is, “Drones attacks on Pakistan”.Pakistan people (Government as well as nation) are become familiar to it and stands with America to end terrorism as well as the North West (Waziristan) this is the part of Pakistan. The main purpose of these attacks according to the Top US officials; they consider these strikes very successful and believe that the senior al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership have been decimated by these strikes. These attacks were started under the George W. Bush administration, these controversial attacks were called a part of the US’ “War on Terrorism” and sought to defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who were thought to have found a safe haven in Pakistan. Most of these attacks are on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Northwest Pakistan. These strikes are mostly carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated remotely from Creech Air Force Base and have continued under the Presidency of Barack Obama. Generally the UAVs used are MQ-1 Predator and more recently MQ-9 Reaper firing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The drones have become a weapon of choice for the United States in the fight against al-Qaeda. Some media refer to the series of attacks as a “drone war”. Te main reason is that, Pakistan’s government publicly condemns these attacks but has secretly shared intelligence with Americans and also allowed the drones to operate from Shamsi airfield in Pakistan. So that is why, America continued these attacks and that is the weak point of Pakistan because it is the charter of UNO that no country can interfere in the severity of another country without any claim and reasons.For a moment, if we think that, there is al-Qaeda leaders are working to spread the terrorism than it is the duty of America that they should inform Pakistani Government so that they can took some solid steps against them and provide drone missiles to Pakistan, but it is not the duty of America to interfere directly without any authorization and to kill our innocent civilians
including all life of people. It is very shameful for Pakistan because these attacks are totally against our dignity. Many leaders of America protest against them; Some US politicians have condemned the drone strikes. US Congressman Dennis Kucinich asserted that the United States was violating international law by carrying out strikes against a country that never attacked the United States. During a protest against drone attacks, in an event sponsored by Nevada Desert Experience, Father Louie Vitale, Kathy Kelly, Stephen Kelly, SJ, Eve Tetaz, John Dear, and others were arrested outside Creech Air Force Base on Wednesday April 9, 2009.These attacks are right, if and only if, militants are killed only but along them most of our beloved civilians are also killed including there homes, and many other things….. Is these attacks are still right …..!!!!
In May 2009, it was reported that the USA was sharing drone intelligence with Pakistan. Leon Panetta reiterated on May 19, 2009 that the US intended to continue the drone attacks.
On July 20, 2009, the Brookings Institution released a report which states that ten civilians are died in the drone attacks for every militant killed. It suggested the real answer to halting al-Qaeda’s activity in Pakistan will be long-term support of Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts. In July 2009 it was reported that (according to US officials) Osama Bin Laden’s son Saad bin Laden was believed to have been killed in a drone attack earlier in the year. Even, American’s president given the name of campaign as, “drone campaign against militants”.
The statistical representation of these attacks is as given below:
US Drone Strike Statistics
Year Number of Drone Strikes Total Killed
2004 1 5
2005 2 7
2006 2 23
2007 4 74
2008 33 296
2009 53 709
2010 72 653
Total 167 1,767
Projection for 2010 92 824
According to the above statistics, one third of civilians are died, on the other hand about tow third of militants are killed during these attacks. A study called ‘The Year of the Drone” published in February 2010 by New America Foundation found that in a total of 114 drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004 and early 2010 approximately between 834 and 1,216 individuals had been killed, about two thirds of whom were thought to be militants and one third were civilians.
In December 2009, expansion of these drone attacks was authorized by President Barack Obama when he took the decision to send 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. Senior US officials are reportedly pushing for extending the strikes into Quetta in Balochistan against the Quetta Shura. Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad on January 7, 2010 Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman stated the drone attacks were effective and would continue but stated that US would make greater efforts to prevent collateral damage. In an effort to strengthen trust with Pakistan ‘US sharing drone surveillance data with Pakistan, says Mike Mullen US defense budget for 2011 asked for a 75% increase in funds to enhance the drone operations.
According to the news agency Associated press (AP), the US increased strikes against the Pakistani Taliban, which earned favor from the Pakistani government, resulting in increased cooperation from Pakistani intelligence services. Furthermore, due to the drawdown of the war in Iraq, more drones, support personnel, and intelligence assets became available for the campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s mean that they provide us a clear cut direction of destruction. According to media reports, in 2009 or 2010 CIA drones began using smaller missiles in airstrikes in Pakistan for the sake of to reduce collateral damage, including civilian casualties. The new missiles, called the Small Smart Weapon or Scorpion, are reportedly about the size of a violin case (21 inches long) and weigh of about 16 kg. The missiles are used in combination with new technology to increase accuracy and expanded surveillance, including the use of small, unarmed drones about the size of “pizza platters” to exactly pinpoint the location of targets. The US hopes that civilian casualties will decrease, thereby decreasing public outrage over the missile strikes. But they have only hoped not surety that the death rate of civilians will decrease.
Pakistan has repeatedly protested against these attacks as they are an intrusion of its sovereignty and because civilian deaths have also resulted, including women and innocent children, which has further angered the Pakistani government and people. In September 28, 2009, a spokesman for the Pakistani army condemned Washington’s killing of Pakistani civilians and warned of retaliatory action: “Border violations by US-led forces in Afghanistan, which have killed scores of Pakistani civilians, would no longer be tolerated, and we have informed them that we reserve the right to self defense and that we will retaliate if the US continues cross-border attacks.”
According to Pakistani authorities, from January 14, 2006 to April 8, 2009, 60 U.S. strikes against Pakistan killed 701 people, of which 14 were Al-Qaeda militants and 687 innocent civilians. General David Petraeus was told in November 2008 that these strikes were unhelpful. However on October 4, 2008 the Washington Post reported that there was a secret deal between the US and Pakistan allowing these drone attacks. US Senator Dianne Feinstein said in February 2009: “As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base.” Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi denied that this was true. The drone attacks continue, despite repeated requests made by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari through different channels. Baitullah Mehsud while claiming responsibility for the 2009 Lahore police academy attacks, stated that it was in revenge for the drone attacks. According to The Daily Telegraph, Pakistani intelligence has agreed to secretly provide information to the United States on Mehsud’s and his militants’ whereabouts while publicly the Pakistani government will continue to condemn the attacks.
The British newspaper The Times stated on February 18, 2009 that the CIA was using Shamsi airfield, 190 miles southwest of Quetta and 30 miles from the Afghan border, as its base for drone operations. Safar Khan, a journalist based in the area near Shamsi, told the Times, “We can see the planes flying from the base. The area around the base is a high-security zone and no one is allowed there.” Top US officials confirmed to Fox News Channel that Shamsi airfield had been used by the CIA to launch the drones since 2002. According to the responses of people of Waziristan, they told that, Pakistan has to taken some solid steps against America and defense our region as well as Pakistan. In the review of Daily Times on January 2, 2010, the local people of Waziristan are against the drone attacks.
On April 28, 2009 Pakistan’s consul general to the US, Aqil Nadeem, asked the US to hand over control of its drones in Pakistan to his government and this is the only way to kill the Al-Qaeda and Taliban not by the Americans directly. Said Nadeem, “Do we want to lose the war on terror or do we want to keep those weapons classified? If the American government insists on our true cooperation, then they should also be helping us in fighting those terrorists.” President Zardari has also requested that Pakistan be given control over the drones but this has been rejected by the US who is worried that Pakistanis will leak information about targets to militants in North West Pakistan. In December 2009 Pakistan’s Defense minister Ahmad Mukhtar acknowledged that Americans were using Shamsi airfield but stated that Pakistan was not satisfied due to these attacks and with payments for using the facility.
On June 3, 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) delivered a report sharply critical of US tactics (campaign). The report claimed that the US government has failed to keep track of civilian losses of its military operations, including the drone attacks, and to provide means for citizens of affected nations to obtain information about the casualties and any legal inquests regarding them. Any such information held by the U.S. military is supposedly inaccessible to the public due to the high level of secrecy surrounding the drone attacks program.
In the light of above facts, I concluded that, drones attacks are totally against the severity and dignity of Pakistan. These attacks are driven by Americans with the help of our top officials in a great secrecy according to the associated press (AP) and British times. The number of victimized civilians is increased due to these attacks including children and women. On the other hand, the ratio of these attacks is also increased with the passage of time. Pakistan has the right to show his motive in UNO and should do something (self defense) in the response of these attacks. Overall people of Pakistan are strongly disagreeing due to these attacks and opinioned that Government of Pakistan has to stop these attacks in order to save Pakistan. Now, it is the responsibility of Pakistani government should put their best role to stop these attacks in order to maintain harmony, peace, and justice throughout the country. But the current situation is almost diverse from the reality and America is still continuing these attacks with more aggressiveness efficiently and effectively. If these attacks are not stop at this time than nobody can make correct estimate about the civilian’s death in coming future…….!!!