ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government claimed Wednesday that more than two thousand suspected terrorists have been killed in 317 drone strikes in the past five years while only 67 innocent civilians have died in these attacks.

Surprisingly the official data also claims that no innocent civilian was struck by the drone strikes since January 2012 while more than three hundred terrorists were targeted in the strikes.

The official data negates the claims by local political and religious parties that US drone strikes in Pakistan have mostly killed innocent civilians, including women and children.

The Ministry of Defence furnished a written reply in the Senate today detailing the number of US drone strikes in the past five years.

According to the official data, this year has witnessed the lowest number of drone strikes which are 14 as compared to 2010 when the US hit Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas 115 times through drone attacks.

However, Pakistani government and political parties across the board have termed these strikes counter-productive and have repeatedly called for stopping the strikes.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to the US last week also called upon President Barack Obama to end these strikes but the US has reportedly made no commitment to end the unmanned drone operation.

Defense analyst and author Zahid Hussain believes that the number of drone strikes in Pakistan may reduce, but it is highly unlikely that the US would consider putting an end to the drone program.

A UN expert investigating drone strikes said earlier this month that the Pakistani government told him that at least 400 civilians have been killed by the attacks in the country since they started in 2004.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, based in London, has estimated that at least 300 civilians have been killed by drones in Pakistan since 2008. The Washington-based New America Foundation put the figure at 185 civilians. These estimates are often compiled based on media reports about the attacks.

Amnesty International recently released a report on drone strikes in Pakistan, accusing the US of indulging in war crimes by targeting innocent civilians through armed drones.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (32)

October 30, 2013 5:47 pm

Compare that to over 50,000 civilians killed by Taliban. And many more Pakistan Army and other security personnel killed. What is actually hurting Pakistanis is Taliban. They are the worst enemies of Pakistan and Islam.

S Bara
October 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Stunning news. Everybody gone quite.

V. C. Bhutani
October 30, 2013 6:23 pm

It is difficult to understand why Pakistan government is opposing drone strikes. Drone strikes have been effective and helpful, but Pakistan government misleads its people with false propaganda that drone strikes violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. If terrorism goes on like this unabated in this country, then it will have no sovereignty or territorial integrity to defend or speak of. It is high time Pakistan’s leaders came to their senses and decided to confront terrorists squarely, no quarter asked or given. For their part terrorists, that is, those of the TTP, have left no one in doubt that they reject Pakistan Government, Pakistan Constitution, and Pakistan State. Even then the PM goes on assuring the National Assembly that efforts are being made to begin talking with the Taliban. He must be phenomenally deficient in self-respect and common sense. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, 30 Oct 2013, 1850 IST

October 30, 2013 6:23 pm

and how many civilians are killed by TTP roughly about 50000, Just asking so that I can make my decision which side we should give a shut up call first, Drones or TTP ?

October 30, 2013 7:02 pm

What a dead nation.

Pavas Ambashta
October 30, 2013 7:29 pm

Pakistan is such a confused country..After making so much hue and cry over drone attacks what we are listening now 1. That the drone attacks were carried out on permission of its government and military!!!! 2. That only 67 innocent people have died in these drone attacks!!!!! Such a confused nation!! If this was the case then why the your previous foreign minister Ms. Khar used to whine about these attacks in her every foreign tour, be it her Russian tour or Brazilian tour?? And, why your current Prime Minister is bragging about soverignity of your country?? If only 67 innocent people have died in these attacks, then what about those claims of "thousands of innocent civillians deaths"???? These blatant lies and conspiracy theories are the reasons why no one believes Paikistan today..

October 30, 2013 8:02 pm

The government is actually endorsing the drone strikes by saying that only 67 civilians have been killed in five years.There should be an independent recount of the civilian deaths.It is good to note that 2000 suspected terrorists have been killed but this figure should also be recounted by an independent authority to ensure that the government figures are correct.In case both the figures are correct then the Americans have a point and it would also mean that the taliban are getting ready for talks because they are scared of the drone attacks and have no answer for it.

October 30, 2013 8:33 pm

And Taliban killed 50,000 in 5 years. That's their revenge.

October 30, 2013 8:37 pm

What about the number of pakitanis killed by these talibans?

October 30, 2013 10:07 pm

The terrorists having their safe refuge in Pakistan and Afghanistan are common enemies of USA, Pakistan and of humanity at large. Pakistani and Afghani govts have terribly failed in crushing the terrorists and their acts of terror and mass murder against innocent people of their own country including of Armed and Security forces, have become order of the day. Hence, from what face Pakistan or Afghanistan govt or political leaders could oppose the drone attacks? If you could not punish or stop the terrorists by yourself you should be thankful to USA for doing your job. Period.

October 30, 2013 11:21 pm

Perhaps the real question is why the govt has been sitting on this information? Perhaps an apology is due to the American's - maybe even a "thank you". Drones may not be perfect but they have less unintended casualties than anything other than American "boots on the ground".

The solutions to drones is obvious - get rid of the terrorist - take control of the land you hold a "sovereign".

October 30, 2013 11:22 pm

@Idealist: excellent point

raja hindustani
October 30, 2013 11:30 pm

Do we have figure of total number of militants killed in those drone attack.?

October 30, 2013 11:23 pm

@V. C. Bhutani: great point

October 30, 2013 11:28 pm

@V. C. Bhutani: Ohh yes ! sitting all the way in Delhi and talking about drones and their effectiveness. Try living one day in the areas targeted by drones.

October 31, 2013 12:42 am

It is ironic how people can actually defend the so called "drone strikes", maybe you need one of those falling on your rooftop to realise what those people are going through. The drone strikes are not being opposed because they target terrorists, they are being opposed as they are responsible for the killings of an estimated 400 innocent people in the course of last 5 years. it is not about which side is killing more people, it is about killing the innocent. Even the targetting of the accused terrorists can be debated. By this token anyone can be labelled as a threat and eliminated without the intervention of judge and jury and renders the courts useless. Murder is murder, if the Taliban do it or the Americans...for extra-judicial killings, they are both partners in crime/brothers in arms.

October 31, 2013 12:42 am

Drones technology should be given to Pakistan. Then on the basis of effective & right intelligence, drone strike should be increased to kill the suicide bomber, taliban training centers, their supporters/logistic providers. Drones are very effective tool to punish the suicide bombers and killers of innocent people of Pakistan. Some people behind the the theory that drones are killing only innocent civilian wants to save cruel taliban, because with them they share the distorted ideology of jihad / Islam.

Waqar Hassan
October 31, 2013 12:53 am

Claim of our Govt. that only 67 civilians have been killed since 2008, in the drone strikes is like a joke

Imran Ahmed
October 31, 2013 1:26 am

I am no supporter of TTP but I do have doubts about the completeness and accuracy of the suddenly released statistics. I will be delighted if my doubts turn out to be unfounded but the numbers are amazing in context of the previous inexplicable official silence in the face of grotesque accusations that tens of thousands of innocents are being murdered while our government watches helplessly.

October 31, 2013 4:53 am

zero sympathies for these people..they hang out with rabid madmen willing to shoot and blow up women and children well they r fair game too..OBL was hiding out with his 5 wives or whtever you guys do and 18 children..too freakin bad..if u really r warriors fighting a foreign power well hang out with the warriors and take it like a man, whadyah need a bunch of crows and 14 kids tailing arnd behind yah if u want war.its not like they dont know that sound in the sky is NOT a bird...the whole lot of you ll r nuts man..Droneeee Onnnnnnn

October 31, 2013 6:32 am

No doubt TTP has done too much damage in Pakistan in shape of casualties, deaths and financial sufferings, but one cannot undermine what USA drone strikes had done in the past and still going on. This report may also be seen in the context of recent trip of Nawaz Sharif to USA. Don't think so that Amnesty and other HR associations, recent London based documentary, UN assessment is all about just 67 deaths in full five years. Once again we bowed down to foreign pressure and foreign financial aid. PML N have started their tenure just about 5 months back. How come they have a complete data of exactly 67 deaths without mentioning a single casualty ? Nonsense.

October 31, 2013 6:36 am

Military clearly wants to keep drone strikes as an option. Only mullah, Taliban and Taliban Khan are opposed to them.

Nawaz Sharif
October 31, 2013 7:16 am

So instead of standing up too the US, Pakistan takes the easier way out and reduces civilian count. But that was expected in a country where terrorists are fought by banning Skype and viber.

October 31, 2013 7:24 am

If America can counter terrorism in Pakistan so effectivly then why we neef or respected GOVT??? We should hand over all affairs to US. If its no a reasoning point then Pak should handle its war by itself. Cevilian were being killed on massive scale before meeting US president, after that everything is changed. Now only militants are being killed. If Pak know that they are suspected then WHY it not take action against them on its own??? It is so simple a qestion to be asked and answered...

October 31, 2013 8:40 am

Let's ask Malala Yousafzai and the families of thousands targeted or killed by the extremists if they fear the drones. My guess, the answer is no.

If the Taliban lay down their arms, they're won't be any need for drones.

October 31, 2013 8:12 pm

Last time I checked the humanity still believed in the law of "innocent unless proven guilty". Since when killing without trial and justice has become acceptable. Every single one of those who got killed needs to be assumed innocent unless it is proven through established norms of justice that he/she has committed a crime. Even then punishment cannot be executed through a drone strike.

If it is somehow OK then let someone try a similar operation in USA or Israel. How about executing Bush, a known international criminal, via a drone strike or a hidden sniper mission?

It seems Nawaz Sharif has acquired homework from Obama in the recent visit to soften and beautify the case of drones.

November 1, 2013 8:56 am

@Imran: Taliban kill because they like to. Drones, America, Israel etc. are just excuses.

November 1, 2013 10:57 am

The drone issue has just become an emotional issue which is being cashed by political parties. Much much more civilians must have died in the Pakistani army operation in those areas. Also two thousand terrorists is not a small number. Just imagine the number of Pakistani soldiers they would have killed.

November 1, 2013 5:40 pm

It is strange that recently PM Nawaz requrested US President Obama to stop drones in Pakistan as drones are giving fire to terrorism to which Obama said "NO" or "we will see". Now the Pakistani official say that only 67 civilians have died in the last five years.

There seems to be some dictation from the US to show such figures to carry on the drone strikes that the drones are actually killing more terrorist than the innocents.

November 1, 2013 9:22 pm

67 is how many die in a single Taliban attack.

November 1, 2013 10:47 pm

This count if true is negligible when compared to the people died because of terror outfits in the country. Drones should be continued.

November 2, 2013 5:01 am

And Hakeemullah thought he will live for ever -- in the business that Hakeemullah operated nobody lives forever.

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