-Illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan
-Illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan

Soon after Pakistan’s May election, Imran Khan called on the new government to “stop or shoot down” American drones.

His position has softened in more recent weeks, but the PTI continues to emphasise coercive responses — as evidenced by a resolution submitted to the National Assembly last month that urges the government to use military force “if needed.”

Yet, if the PTI truly wants to down a drone, it may want to call on its fellow countrymen, and not the government, to execute such an audacious operation.

Why do I say this? Enter an American named Phillip Steel. He has proposed an ordinance for his town of Deer Trail, Colorado. It gives private citizens the right to shoot down surveillance drones — and entitles them to compensation if they succeed.

But first, some broader context.

Hypothetically speaking, could the Pakistani state shoot down a drone? Certainly. There’s little doubt Pakistan’s military boasts the capacity. According to one expert, slow speeds, easy detectability, and lack of maneuverability make drones “child’s play for a Pakistani Air Force pilot.” American drones have been shot down before; Serbians did so in 1999, and Iraqis in 2002 (Iran says it downed one in 2011, a claim disputed by Washington).

Still, in all reality, will the Pakistani state shoot down a drone? No. Doing so would severely damage — if not sever altogether — Islamabad’s ties with Washington, a relationship, new prime minister Nawaz Sharif seems eager to strengthen. It could also trigger retaliation from the United States. And this all assumes the Pakistani military would do the deed — which it likely would not. We now know the military has consented to drone strikes (a logical position, given the high-level Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda figures killed by drones). This undercuts the oft-stated argument that the government can legally shoot down drones under the principle of self-defense.

Yet there’s another possibility. What if aggrieved Pakistanis, convinced the state won’t act, decide to take matters into their own hands?

Admittedly, this scenario may seem more far-fetched than a state-led effort. After all, few private citizens wield weaponry capable of downing a stealthy aircraft cruising at up to 10,000 feet. Pakistani militants may have the capacity, and they’ve claimed to have downed drones before. But there’s no proof their boasts are truthful.

Still, in a country as heavily weaponised as Pakistan, where powerful arms flow freely, there’s reason to believe someone could acquire the means to down a drone.

This brings me back to Phillip Steel. His proposal would allow residents to purchase $25 licenses that authorise them to fire at drones. If you ground part of a craft, you’re entitled to $25. Bring down the whole thing, and you net $100.

If the ordinance passes (officials consider it August 6), few people — including Steel — believe anyone will actually bag a drone (though the US Federal Aviation Administration has threatened to prosecute anyone who tries). No one’s ever seen a drone over Deer Trail, and because of licensing restrictions, modest shotguns are the only permissible weapons.

Yet this is all immaterial. Steel and his supporters regard the initiative as a purely symbolic measure meant to highlights the US government’s rising levels of surveillance (the FAA is ramping up America’s domestic drones program).

I’m inclined to agree with an observer who describes the effort as “the sort of small-town lunacy that makes the local Chamber of Commerce president want to bang his head against his desk.” Still, it amplifies Americans’ legitimate concerns about a growing surveillance regime.

It also raises some salient considerations about Pakistan.

Assuming drone strikes continue to proliferate and little is done by Islamabad, I can envision something akin to Steel’s initiative emerging in Pakistan — where drones do so much more than simply spy from the sky.

Numerous Pakistanis have good reason to act boldly against drone strikes. Think of tribal belt civilians who have lost family members (or homes, limbs, or livelihoods), or who have been traumatised by the telltale humming of drones.

Some of these people have sought legal assistance. Several months ago, a Pakistani court sided with them and ordered the government to end drone strikes. Yet they haven’t ended.

Their next step could be proposing a rough equivalent of Steel’s ordinance, which I’m sure some PTI official in KP province would happily support. For reasons already mentioned, those proposing the measure could conceivably find the appropriate weaponry (Steel’s shotguns-only rule would presumably not be in effect).

There’d be nothing symbolic about this measure in Pakistan. Blessed with sufficient interest, capacity, and support, it could well bring down a low-flying drone (witnesses report that drones may hover at low altitudes for hours).

Unsettling? Absolutely. Yet this all underscores the understandable lengths to which citizens — American and Pakistani alike — may be willing to go when grievances arecontinuouslyignored.


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The author is the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. You can reach him at michael.kugelman@wilsoncenter.org


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (97) (Closed)


Feroz
Jul 29, 2013 06:04pm

Is this article inciting tribals to shoot down a drone ? Relations between the US and Pakistan are anyway tenuous, is there an agenda behind the provocation ?

Saleem
Jul 29, 2013 06:07pm

Shoot down drones talk is easy than done. US can jam everything to stop Pakistanis to use anything sophisticated. What if they use it at night?

Md Imran
Jul 29, 2013 06:27pm

Inshallah ! Why cant we have men like Mike Kugelman as our president ? PAF is usually considered the best airforce in the world by a long margin. I see no reason why PAF - which by the way has helped every ummah nation in this world at some point, should be able to take on any drone or airforce. I also hope someone takes Mubasshir Luqman's hope seriously. i.e. the Pakistan naval service should build a fleet of super-carriers, the funding must be by all ummah nations ..PNS can then use the fleet to protect worldwide interests of ummah nations. Lets see who will dare threaten our sovereignity then.

Raja
Jul 29, 2013 06:48pm

What if US starts sending multiple drones and when the first one is fired upon the target is determined and fire returned. This could possibly put the firing individual or group at risk of being branded a terrorist and subjected to direct assault by the drones.

The logic of the argument is not bad. US may treat it's own citizens differently than treating a Pakistani behaving in exactly the same manner.

The problem with Pakistan shooting down the drone go beyond just having the capability. If a plane is sent to shoot a drone then the cost of sending that plane are way higher than the cost associated with remote management of a small drone. US could start increasing the drones flights making these costs exorbitantly higher. Using a targeting device could like a stinger might work but I am not sure whether it can track a drone. Using radars to track drone location and lock on it is from what I understand tricky because the US can locate the radar frequency and then later jam it when a real operation is conducted. This last one I believe is the reason Iran and other countries try to shoot a drone down manually than using radar technology.

Nonetheless, my knowledge isn't perfect and is bound to contain flaws but may spur a better debate regarding this issue. In the spirit of freedom and free will this could be attempted by the province and perhaps tested how far US is willing to go. It's a game of chicken and US is withdrawing from Afghanistan anyways. Why bother?

Raja

arshd
Jul 29, 2013 06:51pm

And Michael, you just gave another idea to the pseudo liberal political parties of Pakistan. i.e PMLN & PTI!

justforcarp
Jul 29, 2013 07:06pm

What will you do if they shoot back? Surveillance drones over Deer Trail, Colorado, may not as they are not armed but the drones flying over Pakistan are armed and capable of firing back.

iqbal
Jul 29, 2013 09:09pm

This will be the best thing any Pakistani would do as the Government is unwilling to take back the country. Only one or may be two drones shot down will stop this program in Pakistan and it will help save innocent lives. A soldier can shoot the drone and take court marshal for his actions(will be a hero for the country). The terrorist can be engaged by the special forces on the ground and that way only the bad people will pay the price for their actions.

Imtiaz Hydari
Jul 29, 2013 09:28pm

I am baffled by this drone controversy. Parliament passes a unanimous resolution asking America to halt drone attacks and suggests a military response if they o not, but the strikes continue. Any deal with the Americans would have been made with the Musharraf Government or by the Military with the approval of Musharraf who was holding the office of President and Army Chief. Why is it so difficult to find out if there is a secret deal and what is the deal. If there is no deal then all the Americans need to be told in no nicer train terms tht the next drone will be brought down. The Military and our elected Government have sworn under oath to defend our air land and sea frontiers. They must be called upon to act in accordance with their constitutional oath.

Leon
Jul 29, 2013 09:37pm

yeah it can be shot down..but what about the f22 raptor which will follow shortly and countless missiles?

Shahbuddin
Jul 29, 2013 09:39pm

We empowered them with arms to fight in Afghanistan and they now killing us. If we give them the arms to shoot down drones, the first casualty will be Pakistan Airlines.

shafiq khan
Jul 29, 2013 09:46pm

If your elected government accepts the work of the drones one must believe that it may be in our country's interest. There are things which all governments in the world keep under raps. So those parliamentarians who want to change governments mind can ask questions in the parliament or have their colleagues join them in an organised protest. Not a secret. All parliamentary members know how to make the government open up and accept or deny why they do not act. The Army will not act because they know it will cost them dearly. They may not have such a luxurious living without USA help. So think again. I for one certainly would not stop the drone attacks. It seems to me , that is the only viable means the murderers are punished. If the tribal people are angry then they should tell the government to do something about it. They have at least six members of the parliament.

ebrhm
Jul 29, 2013 09:59pm

but for this the most important technology which is required are bravery, courage, loyalty with country and self respect, but its all not have in our politician..and other institutions..so how we can do it.? first we have to get it from Iranian, Iraqis and Serbians then we might able do this.. otherwise we should bother and suffer it for dollar

Arun
Jul 29, 2013 10:17pm

Shooting down drones by private citizens may be more realistic in Pakistan than you think. In 1999, the Pakistan Army shot down an Indian helicopter and claimed it was done by the Mujaheddin. They may try the same thing again, and believe me, Pakistanis can convince any US administration of anything.

Dave
Jul 29, 2013 10:38pm

You fail to mention that a report published in the High Court of Pakistan released the number of victims vs. militants killed by drones. In the last 5 yrs, only 47 militants have been killed due to drone attacks, while the number of innocent Pakistani victims has reached 1,500, which doesn't even include the 330 now missing limbs.

So when you say that drone consent is a "a logical position, given the high-level Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda figures killed by drones" I would disagree and advise you to do some research before you post something.

akki
Jul 29, 2013 10:54pm

talibans have yet not tried to shoot down drones ??

Mustafa
Jul 29, 2013 10:56pm

We better not shoot any American drones, over 250 of them are members of our parliament, one of them lives in the Prime minister House and the other in the President House. Two dozen or so American drones own a huge majority of our media.

Iran claims to have shot down not one, as the author stated, but at least four drones. Contrary to author's statement, the Americans did not deny, in fact confirmed that their drone was "lost" over Iran. Although they contested that the drone was brought down by the Iranian forces. The drone capture was announced first by the Iranian forces. The Americans said they lost contact with the drone, but they still somehow knew that it was not shot down.

Agha Ata
Jul 29, 2013 11:26pm

Modern technology provides ways to drone shoot someone from great heights, even from the space. It wouldn't stop anyone from shooting.

Farhan
Jul 29, 2013 11:41pm

I am following the comment of 'justforcarp'... I should ask the same thing...

malik
Jul 29, 2013 11:59pm

You should rather tell us how to shoot down a terrorist. Drones seem to be the only weapon that are doing that.

anum
Jul 30, 2013 12:03am

what if aggrieved pakistanis decide to fight back you ask?

well they have...and they are known as TTP

anum
Jul 30, 2013 12:04am

and because of ensuing war between TTP and Army we, the ordinary citizens, have become stuck in the grinder.

Modi
Jul 30, 2013 12:52am

I don't understand the "drone delima" for Pakistan. Why doesn't the Pakistani Govt. or the military eliminate the cause which prompts America to use drone attacks inside Pakistan, and that is to eliminate terrorist training camps and illegal militants using Pakistani soil for launching attacks on Nato forces and on the Afghans. If Pakistan does not have the guts or the will to accomplish this task, then for God's sake don't be naive enough to think that America will not be forced to take action. Drone attacks are a direct result of the apathy and inaction of the Pakistani Govt. and its military .

Babar Mumtaz
Jul 30, 2013 01:12am

The point is not whether a drone is actually shot down or not - much less whether the capacity to do so exists, or what the repercussions might be. The point is to legalise the shooting down of drones, primarily to make the point that (at least publicly) drones are an illegal intrusion into Pakistani airspace, and therefore much more acceptable targets than people.

Shahryar Shirazi
Jul 30, 2013 01:25am

@justforcarp: We fire at a drone, next time US will send some thing you cannot fire at. At the least it could be a stealth drone, worst case an F16. What the govt and the army, IMO, don't honestly tell the people is the fact how effective these drone attacks are ... Shahryar

jayaraman
Jul 30, 2013 01:25am

Talking of shooting down US drones over Pakistan is just empty bravado for home consumption. Nobody in Pakistan neither Military nor civil has the guts for it as they are well aware of the repurcussions. The fear of USA is the factor which also made Pakistan a reluctant partner in fight against Al Queda and Taliban.

sattar rind
Jul 30, 2013 02:05am

if any one try to attack on drones what will be next action of USA? this is the Question- to be or not be- shot drone or not to shot.

G.A.
Jul 30, 2013 02:13am

Pakistani Military will not. Pakistani civilians may not. But a disgruntled Pakistani soldier just might.

Craphead
Jul 30, 2013 02:29am

@justforcarp: They ARE shooting back.

bangash
Jul 30, 2013 02:55am

Why doesn't PTI negotiate with the US to stop these drone attacks ? After all PTI desperately wants to negotiate with TTP to allow Pakistanis to live.

a
Jul 30, 2013 03:59am

@justforcarp: An excellent point

Ali Abbas
Jul 30, 2013 04:22am

What message it is going to portray in Pakistani media which is already labelled as corrupt and US supported. Pakistani media will show it as some terrorists shot down a drone and Taliban will happily take the responsibility also as a moral victory over Americans. But this thing will prove American point of view right that terrorists are hiding in these areas and it will fuel a civil war in a sensitive province of KPK and US won't mind this either as they do not want PTI to have a successful government in KP because PTI policies contradict with US policies.

So please, Live and Let Live. Pakistani government should take bold step and raise this matter in UN if US does not stop drones but i seriously doubt it.

NASAH (USA)
Jul 30, 2013 04:26am

No thanks for your suggestion. Did you have to write this column?

danial tariq
Jul 30, 2013 04:45am

I think, the difficult part of shooting down drone is to first realise if it is opperated by our enemy or friend and then finding out if it is good for us.

Umer
Jul 30, 2013 07:03am

Good discussion. Brings to light the twisted world we live in.

sanjeev
Jul 30, 2013 07:46am

Drones are foreign aircraft with missiles coming to your country to randomly kill civilians. will china or India tolerate such acts by drones?. What will be done by USA if a foreign drone arrives to main land America and shoots civilians dead?.

Pakistan has to take strict action and stop taking money from USA to allow random killing by drones

Amir
Jul 30, 2013 07:51am

Atleast Drones are helping to eliminate the radical and foreign terrorist from the streets of Pakistan . We should be more thankful for the drones .

illawarrior
Jul 30, 2013 08:16am

Your article says that the Pakistani government / military has agreed to drone attacks, thus the answer lies not in attacking the drones, but in bringing about a policy change, that outlaws them. There is no way that Colorado is going to pass a law that allows someone the right to destroy the private property of another in this way - it is just a headline grab.

Honest Babe
Jul 30, 2013 08:59am

Well, Pakistani establishment has regularly hidden behind "non state actors" so I am sure this is not such a novel idea for the men in khaki. Having said that, this is one of the more naive and dangerous ideas coming from Michael Kugelman. I have new disdain for "experts" now.

Malikpur Janderbari Abbottabad
Jul 30, 2013 09:31am

Nothing will happen, its violation of international law and if Pakistan Air force cannot do this small toy then question about Pakistan Airforce. Don't be scared they can't fire back.

Anonymous
Jul 30, 2013 09:34am

@justforcarp: You can make the claim that the drones killed innocent unarmed women and children.

Salman Khalid
Jul 30, 2013 09:43am

I wonder how a drone would shoot back when it is shot itself and falling to the ground!! Even if it escapes a shot and retaliates, people would die of course. This is a routine thing here in Pakistan and there is nothing new in it except the fact that each drone strike claims the life of few innocent people.

Iqbal
Jul 30, 2013 09:43am

What a lame article! The right forum to address drone issue is diplomatic plus military.

citizen
Jul 30, 2013 10:01am

@justforcarp: If you see a drone, it is highly likely that you can be killed regardless of innocent or criminal. Americans claim this as collatoral damage if you were innocent. In my opinion, the principle of self defense gives you the right to attack the attacker before you can be killed. After all,the American drones are illegally flying our skies whether some stupid dictator or politician gave them the authority or not.

dev
Jul 30, 2013 10:38am

Why would Pakistan government ever want to stop drone strikes? covertly they might be the ones who might be earning money from all this. Why would US ever want to stop this? this in their opinion makes US citizens more safe and helps to test them the technology. As for poor citizens getting killed, no one cares apart from their near and dear ones. If you ask the Pakistanis from all facts of life for a rally on religious issues, against India, for Kashmir all would be willing to raise their voice in unison, for their fellow brethren getting killed, will they? I doubt.

Adnan Zia
Jul 30, 2013 11:04am

Could Pakistani tribal area residents shoot down the flying robots, would they have not done so?? What a novice approach! I take the article as a piece of comedy- a satire; but if any one is serious, let me tell you no military in the world has 100% known capability to stop these stealthy crafts.

USN
Jul 30, 2013 01:12pm

@Md Imran: PAF is usually considered the best airforce?? Joke right?? Few years back US violated your airspace, carried out an operation, killed Osama and flew back, what was your best air force doing then?? Can't operate at night :O :)) ??

You want to built a fleet but funded by Ummah nations !! lol .. have US stopped giving USDs now?? still depending on other nations for the money. begging habit is hard to do away with :)

Prakash
Jul 30, 2013 01:24pm

@justforcarp: its better to die with honor than live with suffering and compromise. You can't seat ideal with your own people dying for no reason.

expaki
Jul 30, 2013 01:52pm

@Md Imran Sahib, Pakistan has many " Mike Kugelmans" I very humbly can name few I love and admire greatly. for example Hamid Gul Sahib and why not Janab Syed Zahid Hamid of brastrack. Md Imran sahib, really great idea.

Asad
Jul 30, 2013 02:15pm

Good suggestion!!! I think this idea should be given serious thought.

sheikh
Jul 30, 2013 03:30pm

since war on terror Usa has carried more thn 300 drone attacks which have snatched 4000 innocent citizens. If America can give life time prison to dr afia as she is blamed she tried to snatch a gun from us soldier. Ramond davis had released in spite of his brutal kiling of two pak citizen in the day light. Why pak cnt stop drone atacks. Shame on our rulers. . .

InderJeet
Jul 30, 2013 04:22pm

As another commenter here said, there seems to be an amazing amount of denial going on. There is absolutely no chance that any low-altitude, low-speed drone could operate inside Pakistan unless it did so with the active cooperation of the Pakistan Armed Forces - both in the sense that someone on the ground is providing targeting coordinates and in the sense that the drones are not being shot down via combat jets or surface fire.

Why do you think the drones are doing what they are doing? Because the US has found them to be the most efficient available means to striking its enemies. Not free of collateral damage - just better than the other available options. If individual Pakistanis don't like being fired on from the air by foreign drones, the logical entity to complain to, would be the Pakistan Armed Forces! It is ridiculous to talk of the need for individuals to shoot down drones when the logical entity that should be doing this job, is obviously not only not willing to do it, but is actually encouraging it!

Adnan
Jul 30, 2013 05:03pm

Pakistan government will not shoot down drones because they have a deal with USA. which is "you deal with our terrorist so we dont have to, and we can blame you for it"

ZeeWhyEx
Jul 30, 2013 05:20pm

Drones don't reach Pakistan without having full flight plan approved by CAA. We have become a nation of liars and bigots and we believe our own lies. We have shot one down from India using an American F-16. Why shoot US Drones down down when you let them here yourself?? Contrary to what the writer thinks, it is not easy for drones to be brought down using small arms fire. Nice theories and conjecture to play with Pakistani sentiments.

Iqbal Khan
Jul 30, 2013 05:26pm

Why are we so sympathatic to Talbans.America is doing a favour to us by killing these scums of this earth.

Asghar khan
Jul 30, 2013 06:01pm

Actually drones are doing good to secure Pakistan soverignity.. KPK insurgents other wise wants their province to be segregated from Pakistan.

NASAH (USA)
Jul 30, 2013 06:03pm

@sanjeev: You certainly sound like no friend of Pakistan. Thanks but no thanks.

the truth
Jul 30, 2013 06:07pm

To shoot down the drone is another issue but it is purely a political matter ! Even if it was India in Pakistan's place would not have dared to do it !

Khuram Nisar
Jul 30, 2013 06:19pm

Writer has been posing a hypothetical situation with no home work whatsoever. Phillip Steel is proposing an ordinance? Where is he proposing that? What kind of jurisdiction does that have? At last, its just a proposal with out any authentic jurisdiction. Secondly, if it was so simple; why don't those tribal guys would have achieved it so far? They wouldn't need Phillip Steel's $100 to shoot down the drone but they would do that for the sake of their children's life. Last one, its not PTI's jurisdiction to take action against the policy of federal government. It is like, Virginia police start working in Washington DC and do what it is not allowed to do.

Tristan
Jul 30, 2013 06:54pm

This is all silly guesswork, fanciful thinking. Drones will never be shot down over Pakistan, as firstly the most radical elements of society who may contemplate such an act do not have the necessary sophisticated weaponry. Secondly, and more importantly, drones have been, perhaps grudgingly, approved at the highest offices in the land, that of the military - don't forget that it wasn't all that long ago that drones attacking Pakistanis were taking off from Jacobabad . Lastly if we where foolish enough to bring down a drone, rest assured that the American response will be swift, furious, overwhelming, and exemplary to the point that we would not even be thinking of repeating such a mistake. Unfortunately , the truth is that we need to correct our hypocrisy before we start engaging in such silly debates as this. It is these hypocritical attitudes that makes our pleas for sympathy ring hollow in the international community.

Trimpa
Jul 30, 2013 06:58pm

Honestly Pakistanis would be better off kicking out the Western beverage and fast/processed food companies, instead of worrying about shooting drones. You'll save a million more lives every year.

justforcarp
Jul 30, 2013 07:13pm

@Craphead:No they are NOT. They are just shooting period.

justforcarp
Jul 30, 2013 07:17pm

@Raja: Your obviously do not know the price of the drone that US is using over Pakistan. It is nearly $40 million which is to say it is twice more expensive than your Thunder fighter jet!

Khuram Nisar
Jul 30, 2013 07:26pm

Writer has been posing a hypothetical situation with no home work whatsoever. Phillip Steel is proposing an ordinance? Where is he proposing that? What kind of jurisdiction does that have? At last, its just a proposal with out any authentic jurisdiction. Secondly, if it was so simple; why don't those tribal guys would have achieved it so far? They wouldn't need Phillip Steel's $100 to shoot down the drone but they would do that for the sake of their children's life. Last one, its not PTI's jurisdiction to take action against the policy of federal government. It is like, Virginia police start working in Washington DC and do what it is not allowed to do.

nEo
Jul 30, 2013 07:32pm

@Md Imran: lol.. buds your tall observations are hilarious.. paf best airforce by a long margin, really... you kidding right.. if thats true, where does US/UK/Russia/China/France/North Korea stand ? :)

loved your suggestions to develop a carrier via funding of all ummah nations.. who cares if thats realistic or not.. ;)

expaki
Jul 30, 2013 08:16pm

@USN: Next time we will kill anyone try to break " SOVIRGINITY"

Zubair Younas
Jul 30, 2013 08:42pm

@Saleem:Where there is a will there is a way

GREATER PAKISTAN
Jul 30, 2013 09:05pm

@Modi: , and what about the attacks from kunar safe heavens on Pakistani soil.............its TIT fot TAT.

Gary
Jul 30, 2013 09:24pm

What if the Americans withdraw financial and military aid to Pakistan ? Have you ever thought of that. The consequences of just stopping of spares and software upgrades for the F-16 jets is enough to cause enough damage to Pakistan. So be wise let it carry on. More people have been killed in Pakistan by terrorists than American drones. Make your choice. Actually you have none.

G.A.
Jul 30, 2013 11:12pm

How can Pakistani government ask the US to stop drone attacks when they have provided bases for them on Pakistani soil?

Usher
Jul 30, 2013 11:36pm

@justforcarp: yeh, One shouldn

Parvez
Jul 31, 2013 01:10am

If it were possible by the locals it would have been done quite some time ago. Your linking a cowboy action in a small American town with what is happening in Wazirastan just did not ring right.

Michael Kugelman
Jul 31, 2013 01:53am

Thanks for the comments, as always. Incidentally, I'm not advocating for drones to be shot down. I am simply mentioning the possibility, in order to spark debate. Finally @Honest Babe, I've never claimed to be an expert on anything.

adi
Jul 31, 2013 04:45am

Go ahead seriously..90 % of americans would love you ll too..there is absolutely nothing this country would lovemore than sever all ties with you ll. the chinese and saudis are just waiting for youll .Enjoy....lol

adi
Jul 31, 2013 05:08am

@iqbal: so the taliban have not been shooting back while being hunted?..hmnn..must be peace loving people

Karish
Jul 31, 2013 05:18am

@sanjeev: The question is who gives the actual whereabout of the target to US intelligence? Who tells them who is to be killed? And how does US Intelligence knows the actual day and time and mode of travel and so on. We generally hear next day that someone high ranking terrorist was killed. How it is possible to know actual person killed so fast, unless the target is already notified and identified by Pak informer or top agencies itself. What has Pak military hast to say about all this. You can only clap with two hands. So let's keep quite and watch the show.

Jeff Walston
Jul 31, 2013 05:21am

We have a solution to the drone problem in the form of a Thermal Image Exposure Reduction (TIER) Poncho we have developed that will cloak your thermal signature from the powerful thermal optics utilized by today's UAV's. Please check out our FB page for links to our demonstrational video's.

Chris
Jul 31, 2013 06:38am

Why don't they take the law into their own hands and rid there country of the Taliban?

Chris
Jul 31, 2013 06:41am

@ZeeWhyEx: Drones can fire from 2500+ meters up, key word "up". Small arms shot level can reach up to 1600( 1000 accurately) meters for a heavy mg. Up and at a moving target is another story.

Rasheed
Jul 31, 2013 07:54am

Pakistanis may not have had a choice in the matter, but letting drones into their territory, even if to kill terrorists (debatable), is a serious mistake - the value of intelligence gathered by the drones for the US and Israel (possibly for India some day) is immeasurable. Pakistanis would want to some day kill their leaders who allowed this, but then they would be dead. Only option then would be to die banging their heads against walls!

Pro-Drones
Jul 31, 2013 09:47am

We innocent Pakistanis who are suffering on daily basis the onslaught of terrorists strongly support the Drone strikes on terrorists as they hit harder and therefore compelled the terrorists and their supporters to scream against drone attacks. since our security agencies are still not capable even to hold the prisoners for a longer time in the fortified prisons the US drone attacks on these barbaric terrorists are a blessing without spending a single penny

insomniac
Jul 31, 2013 10:09am

We have been told that pakistan government and army had given a mute consent to the drone attacks in their territory. I think they can address the underlying issue themselves by going after the safe havens of the militants and terrorists however looks like they don't want to. Either they don't have the capability/resources to extend the fight beyond months or sympathetic to the causes of these terrorists and consider them prized possessions or 'strategic assets' hence prompting US to take matters on their own hands in their own way - no foot on pakistan sovereignty but bomb the hell outta there via drones. . Pakistan is loosing the face on both occasions and its imperative they get themselves out of this mess by taking things in their own hands. That will do more good to them in longer run.

FDA stamp
Jul 31, 2013 10:20am

@sheikh: I wouldn't call them innocent.

Sanjeev
Jul 31, 2013 10:25am

@NASAH (USA): Dear Sir,

I am from Bombay and so cannot be a friend of Pakistan. I feel sorry for the innocent villegers who die for no fault of their own.

A R Khan
Jul 31, 2013 10:57am

Scooping up anti drone sentiment was not anything more than an election stunt by all parties including PTI. Instead of beating old drums we must acquire the technology ourselves and use it as per our desires.

Anon
Jul 31, 2013 12:08pm

@Iqbal Khan: The problem is that they r not 'targeted'. It is known that drones have martryed/injured children. How is this different to what the terrorists do ie cause harm to the innocent. Islam doesnt allow even damaging of crops in war/battle how can we justify harm to children.

Umair
Jul 31, 2013 01:21pm

Re: All critics.

I don't think the article is trying to suggest that's what Pakistanis do, it's suggesting that's an option that tribal locals may very well resort to. As someone who has lived in KPK and FATA for over 3 years, I assure you there is nothing more horrific for the people than the fear of drones. And sadly, the percentage of innocent lives (children included) taken in collateral damage is disturbingly high (see livingunderdrones . org). Honestly, people living in those areas don't give a shit about the war on terror because it's not their war. Those things matter little when your own family members have been killed.

vijay kumar
Jul 31, 2013 01:38pm

Imran Khan may be against the drone attacks. But what does he do when Taliban attack the jails in a province ruled by his party?

I await his response.

Anonymous
Jul 31, 2013 03:06pm

Pakistan Army jets bomb these places all the time and they're more likely to kill/hurt innocent civilians and I've never seen anyone complaining. (Remember when Jets killed over 70 civilians in Swat?) Since we know Drones fly/attack with the army's consent, why feel outraged thus? They're more effective in killing the actual enemies of Pakistan and those Arabs/Chechens/Afghans who are actually violating our sovereignty. I don't understand why People are so sympathetic towards the very people that claim to have killed Pakistani civilians in the thousands and raving about Drones that do more good than harm.

Iqbal khan
Jul 31, 2013 04:12pm

@sheikh: For your info 40,000 Pakistanis have been killed by those 4000 terrorists or their supporters killed by drones.I have no sympathy with any of those including Dr Afia who was also a big fan of these scums.We need to open our eyes and accept the realities of life and stop being emotional.Our country is going to dogs and for God sake save your country,be intelligent and make right choices.

Ravi Inder Singh
Jul 31, 2013 04:15pm

@Gary: Gary says its ok for American drones to kill innocents, kids included. For Americans these innocents are not human. Gary is however correct in saying that the Americans have Pakistan by the short and curly, and their is nothing that THE Pakistanis can do but swallow their pride and keep taking the insults ... quietly. Do the Pakistani people rue the day they became Americas chamchas?

Ravi Inder Singh
Jul 31, 2013 04:18pm

@the truth : But you forget that American drones never have been allowed in.... nor will they ever be allowed in.

ali khawaja
Jul 31, 2013 05:15pm

its a fundamental breach of Pakistan's sovereignty. huge amount of innocent people are getting killed, including women and children; these are pure terror tactics, plain and simple. and author is saying that Pakistan should not shoot down because of damaging relationships with Washington. what the author is saying and is basically true that Pakistan's civilian and military leadership, will sell whatever they can of their country to remain in good books of Washington.

Exactly what Allah Ta'ala told us in Quran that they will never be happy with us until we do exactly what they want us to do. and we are doing exactly what they ask us to do.

Parvez
Jul 31, 2013 05:17pm

My comment was hit by a drone and went up in smoke..........so its not only the Americans using drones. MK comparison of a small American town to Waziristan is funny.........or is it ?

Abid Mahmud Ansari
Aug 01, 2013 01:29am

Michael Kugelman is talking about US retaliation in case a drone is shot down by Pakistan. One wonders if the writer does realize the retaliation from Pakistan. Does he realize that in such a case,will the US be able to get land routes through Pakistan at the present "dirt cheap rates"? Does he remember the "Dreaded US retaliation",when Pakistan stopped all US shipments through its territory, after Salala, and US had to send supplies through other routes via the so called Northern route passing through entire Europe and Russia after much pleading and begging to the Russians, and how much time did it take to reach Afghanistan? Michael you are talking "childish"!

Iqbal Khan
Aug 01, 2013 03:44am

@Anon: You may like to let Talbans know about whats wrong and right in Islam.

Human55
Aug 01, 2013 12:08pm

@Md Imran: This is the root of the problem. The only thing that matters to some people is the UMMAH, which implies that the rest of us are some kind of subhuman species. Why can't you talk in terms of humanity as a single unit. The drones are meant to kill terrorists, not muslims in general. Of course, some innocents are also killed, which is definitely wrong. But the terror attacked carried out by Islamists indiscrimitately kill the innocent non-muslims. As long as the right thinking people in the Muslim community do not take a strong stand against terrorism, it will not stop. Terrorists are emboldened by the silence of majority muslims. If this silent majority gives up its ambivalence, and speaks up loudly, terrorism can be defeated in no time.

Khanm
Aug 01, 2013 02:23pm

let us cut the chase... drones are going to be there ..... no one can shoot them down cos we made a pack....... it is basic it is elementry.... dont waste you energy........