Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

—File Photo.
—File Photo.

A classified Pakistani government document has revealed that scores of civilians died in dozens of CIA-led drone strikes between 2006 and late 2009 in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and that Pakistani officials were “aware of those deaths for many years”.

The secret government document was quoted by the London Bureau of Investigative Journalism (LBIJ) in a report and reveals for the first time the Pakistani government’s evaluation of numerous drone strikes. It was prepared through field research by government officials and field agents stationed in Fata.

“Of 746 people listed as killed in the drone strikes outlined in the document, at least 147 of the dead are clearly stated to be civilian victims, 94 of those are said to be children,” the LBIJ said in its report.

The 12-page summary paper prepared by the officials, titled Details of Attacks by Nato Forces/Predators in FATA, outlines 75 separate CIA drone strikes between 2006 and late 2009 and contradicts claims by the United States which has repeatedly rejected allegations of high numbers of civilian casualties in drone attacks on Pakistani territory.

The US has claimed that “no more than 50 to 60 ‘non-combatants’ have been killed during the entire, nine-year-long drone campaign.

The period defined in the report fell in the presidential term of George W. Bush for the most part. However, drone strikes also increased significantly when Barack Obama took oath of office.

The Government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications and that such strikes also set dangerous precedents in relations between Pakistan and United States.

The statement was issued by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in condemnation to the US drone strike that had killed two suspected militants in Mir Ali Tehsil of North Waziristan tribal region on July 13.

Moreover, the statement said that drone strikes have a negative impact on the mutual desire of both countries to forge a cordial and cooperative relationship and to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Comments (55) Closed

mehdi Jul 23, 2013 01:44pm

if gov want to stop these drone attacks they can,but unfortunately they are not serious in this matter .if Iran can down drones then why no pakistan its a shameless for gov.

asgher Jul 23, 2013 01:44pm

I dream to see in news that today Pak Airforce shot down a drone after it was given warning not to enter Pakistani airspace.

abdulazizansari Jul 23, 2013 01:59pm

The US has claimed that

Zahid Jul 23, 2013 02:00pm

Pakistan military and civilian govt. is part of these deaths. Don't just blame America

Imran Jul 23, 2013 02:23pm

@mehdi: 3 good reasons: Iran does not need IMF and US money to keep it from bankruptcy Iran does not depende on US weapons and spare parts for its weapons Iran does not depend on US as its number one export market

Ali N Jul 23, 2013 02:51pm

Present government should charge Musharraf with the murders of civilians especially childrens. He gave tacit approval of drone attacks.

Ali Jul 23, 2013 02:51pm

@mehdi: Because Iran doesn't beg the US for money.

pakistani Jul 23, 2013 03:01pm

@mehdi: Iranian president and their generals are sincere to their nation. They are not with US and they act in their national interest.

Paki Jul 23, 2013 03:09pm

There is no difference between PPP and PML-N for policies against drone strikes......

omer khan shaheen Jul 23, 2013 03:09pm

All forms of illegal wars should be stopped! and those responsible! should be brought to justice!!! I dream for that day when there will be international alliance for justice, peace and development instead of that for illegal, immoral and unjust wars that we see left and right today.

Phatwangun Jul 23, 2013 03:24pm

If only 147 out of 746 deaths are civilians,then America is doing great job.In return, terrorists have killed thousands of civilians and armed forces personals,but pakistani army and the paratroopers have no success against them.Pakistan should let these drones pound the terrorists until the menace is uprooted...

Chandra Jul 23, 2013 03:27pm

@asgher: I am wondering if the same has happened in India, Govt might have denied that stating a conspiracy of opposition party. Politicians from both Ind and Pak are similar, and if i guess right, not even a single official will take responsibility of civilians deaths.

KHAN Jul 23, 2013 03:33pm

Shooting a drone is walk in the park for Pakistan but our government is corrupt and involved in this act against their own people. There is no way on the face of this earth that the U.S. would dare to cross the borders without the consent of Pakistan government but they are let slide deliberately. Otherwise you can see that if Indians violate the border, they get killed for the same act. So stop saying Pakistan government is not involved and they don

sovereign Jul 23, 2013 03:39pm

@asgher: any sovereign country would do that, but then what does it mean ??? Pakistan is not?????

Amjad Wyne Jul 23, 2013 04:31pm

@Ali N: The current government or the one before it could terminate or renegotiate the agreement with the US (assuming there was one in the first place) if they wanted to but they did not. Blaming all on Musharraf does not make sense. That said, one can assume that Pakistan did not have the option to do anything differently.

ailly Jul 23, 2013 04:48pm

At least these drone attacks can be instrumental in indicting those parties at the helm of affairs. PMLn will be no exception as they were also aware of these deals and did not made it public. Some one might suggest it was done in national security interest.

Notwithstanding, previous two govts are involved in compromising the lives of their own peoples. Where do we turn to?

zahid Jul 23, 2013 04:54pm


Well, give us the address of your family and let someone plant a chip on your house. Only 4 innocents killed in the greater war of Terorism is amount to a pinch of salt in the flour dough.

haseeb Jul 23, 2013 05:02pm

Drone attacks are the best practical manifestation of terrorism. Whoever commits it, whoever supports it is a terrorist. Civilians constitute a reasonable part of casualties. These are illegal and should receive condemnation of each and every country. Unfortunately, united nation remains silent on this open brutality. Drone attacks do violate human rights!

Seedoo Jul 23, 2013 05:10pm

According to the figures quoted, the ratio is 4:1, that is for everyone civilian killed, drones manage to take out 4 terrorists (killers or would be killers). With suicide bombings as their weapon of choice, each of these terrorists is capable of taking out on an average 5 civilians. If these terrorists are allowed to live, they then will kill 20 (4 x 5) civilians. Now what would you rather do, allow them to live so that they can kill 20 civilians or kill them in a pre-emptive manner and save 19 innocent Pakistani lives?

These terrorists are cowards and live among the masses where they cannot be recognized. They don't mind being a liability to their neighbors. Some civilians are complicit as well as they sympathize and even give shelter to these animals. The drone strikes are not designed to kill civilians, but to go after these terrorists. Civilians unfortunately become casualties as collateral damage. If the aim of the US is to kill Pakistani civilians, there are plenty of population centers to go after. As for Pakistan's territorial integrity is concerned, that was bargained away several decades ago, and now it is a silly emotional argument. Remember, when you make a pact with the devil, you dance with the devil! This is true regardless of whether you make friends with the US or the Taliban.

Aamir Jul 23, 2013 05:25pm

Seems that we all are talking to ourselves only. We're waiting, waiting and waiting .... We're willing to cooperate but this un-just MUST be stopped NOW .... BIG question - WHO will stop this because we Muslims are just waiting, waiting, and waiting ...

Quran 6:158 - Do they then wait for anything other than that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord should come, or that some of the Signs of your Lord should come (i.e. portents of the Hour e.g., arising of the sun from the west)! The day that some of the Signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness) through his Faith. Say: "Wait you! we (too) are waiting."

Quran 9:24 - Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.

Tahira Jul 23, 2013 05:46pm

If Pakistani nation would have choosen a courageous and honest leader like Imran khan than things would have been different.

pradeep Jul 23, 2013 05:52pm

Hallo friend. It is very sad that civilians are killed in any fight. But can you check please if this civilians are family members of the terrorists? If no it is really sad.

If yes, why the family choose to stay with them after it is well known that their hubbies are a target all their life.

Nothing can help them in that case.

Also technically it is not possible to shoot a person or house with out clearance from Pak Authorities. There should be spotters and give online information to the drone operator the longitude and latitude. or manual laser spotters There is lot of information has to be made available ie you have to ask your government who is giving the information. That mean the collaborators is in you midst.

Also if the government choose to they can prevent this. There should be a date limit to this. This shooting cannot continue for ever. Thanks


Hasan Jul 23, 2013 05:59pm

@asgher: Dream on........!

rango Jul 23, 2013 06:54pm

Our govt cant resist the external acts in our country just because we are heavily dependent on foreign countries such as the biggest dependent country "AMERICA",its useless to stand up against this country because our leaders would only silence us from our "VOICE OF RIGHTS".... even the foreign cluster are helpless... Jul 23, 2013 07:03pm

@pradeep: Pardeep, Is there any law which allows US government to kill people without Juducial inquiry, feel the pain of bereaved families and then comment. Sorry to say ur comment is nothing just hate against Pakistanis

Rana Usman Jul 23, 2013 07:06pm

They have killed innocents in Japan by detonating first nuclear bomb

Then they killed millions in Veitnam, Iraq and Afghanistan

Don't expect anything from them, they have a history of killing.

Rajiv Kaushal Jul 23, 2013 07:07pm

Who on earth would not know that in war like solution like drone attack, no civilian would get killed and if the figures above are correct then its an miracle that so little civilians got killed.. i am 100% sure more got killed but if anybody expected anything else then they lived in dreamland...

Faisal Jul 23, 2013 07:13pm

@Seedoo: I am surprised how you think. Very illogical. Your figures are based on your thinking that any man killed there would become a terrorist and will kill civilian. And God help you that you are using that nonsense thought against the facts of living people (Women, children and non-combatants) killed without a fault. Stop living with internet and TV alone.

FactCheck Jul 23, 2013 07:13pm

Drone wars are immoral, and cowardly. There is no reason on earth for drone strikes.

Until, rest of the world starts opposing drone wars by the so called super powers, it will continue. Instead of opposing wars and secret wars imposed by superpower club, other nations are muddled in petty disagreements.

Join together, oppose the super powers in every international venue with unified voice, set aside your petty disagreements and fight for a grater cause.

FactCheck Jul 23, 2013 07:15pm


Yes, it is sad. Innocent children deserves better. Just because they were unfortunate to be fathered by misguided terrorist is no reason to kill them.

Drone wars cowardly and should be illegal. You are not realizing how much danger drone pose to every human on the planet.

FactCheck Jul 23, 2013 07:19pm


Technically, no spotters are necessary for drone operator sitting in the Arizona desert. All he is going by is Longitude and Latitude given by an informant, there no fang laser involved. Heard of GPS, US military has a different more powerful system, satellite imagery that can can take pictures of your head in your living room watching your idol SRK.

FactCheck Jul 23, 2013 07:20pm


So are the ones using drones. What is the difference? Both are equal criminal acts against innocent people.

Rahi Jul 23, 2013 07:23pm

@Seedoo: do you want to be that 'one' in 4:1 ratio?

FactCheck Jul 23, 2013 07:23pm

@zahid: Pinch of salt as long as it is not your loved ones, right?

I bet, you will not come to the street and yell, my son was killed by a drone strike but 5 terrorists were also dead and feel proud of my son. Do you even think or lack a brain.

GH Jul 23, 2013 07:46pm

@Tahira: Can he make the change now in KP?

Mustafa (Toronto) Jul 23, 2013 07:51pm

Lets take these number, 746 people killed by Drone attack in between 2006 and 2009, which includes many innocent civilians, women and children. And these ruthless attacks of 21st century technology, are collaborated by American Government, the only super-power on earth, along with Pakistan Army Generals, Chief and Corps Commanders and Pakistani Rulers, who do not have any backbone (like President, PM and all Pakistani men in authority). So, No human being in this planet or the Honest Civilized Society of the world, cannot raise their strong protest and voices to the bodies like United Nations or G8 Forum, to say it loud and Clear "Just Stop This Nonsense.". So all men and women of current time with authority, should realize that on Eyes of Almighty Creator (allah (swt) or God or Bhagwan), all these individuals hand is colored with innocents victims, men, women and children's Red Blood. Its not only Bush or Obama or Zardari, or Kayani; but many others will be included inthis responsibility list of 'Mass killing Field' and I am thinking what place in Hell will they reside after their death.

Gerry D'Cunha Jul 23, 2013 08:15pm

what about dozens hard core 'terrorists' killed in these attacks - remember the old saying: with the wheats,all is grinded that comes its way for flour

Umair Jul 23, 2013 09:02pm

@abdulazizansari: And I would argue that if these people are not killed then more pakistanis will die at the hands of these terrorists. So i am willing to accept the lesser of 147 to control the 40,000 plus civilian and army personnel death at the hands of these militants.

Sami Ullah Swati Jul 23, 2013 09:57pm

Sad, but might is right as they say and when it comes to the US, its alright day in and out. Hope sense and logic prevail than counting ratios of the so called good and bad human losses.......

naghman qureshi Jul 23, 2013 10:11pm

i wish they would release also the numbers on the thousands of innocent victims of suicide attacks and have the moral obligation to condemn it.

asfi Jul 23, 2013 11:17pm

@asgher: Yes, then you must be dreaming. Don't expect it from the country of dead.

Pakorhay do Jul 23, 2013 11:20pm

In the title, I would replace "reveals" with "confirms" or "repeats". This report does state what's already known. Thank you captain obvious!

Iqbal Khan Jul 24, 2013 12:21am

Civilians have no business to be with terrorists and if they are sympathatic to them I am happy that they are killed.

Iqbal Jul 24, 2013 12:21am

@Phatwangun: God forbid, if only 1 out of those 147 would be your family, you would act differently.

Yaqub Ahmad Jul 24, 2013 03:54am

@pradeep: So its ok to kill the innocent kids if they belongs to the family of a terrorist? PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF!!!

Yaqub Ahmad Jul 24, 2013 03:58am

Its a fake report or based on False information, the ratio of civilians is much higher at least more than 50%.

oni Jul 24, 2013 05:30am


"... at least 147 of the dead are clearly stated to be civilian victims" That doesn't mean the rest are terrorist. It only means that 147 were civilians FOR SURE. This COULD mean that 700 out of 746 were civilians, but are simply unidentifiable. Who knows what the terrorist to civilian casualty ratio is. Other than that, you offer a valid argument. IF it's anywhere to what you presume, that is a 4:1 ratio, then I can see how it would be a military option that prevents less deaths. However, if the same thing were being done here in America (i.e. North Korea causing "collateral damage" in American soil), I don't think we'd put up with it. Of course that is another argument all together. Good day.

Aamir Jul 24, 2013 05:29am

@Seedoo: So what do u want than? More drones - more civilian killings?? What if your relative or family members become victim of such strikes?? Most of civilian living in these areas can't migrate because they have minimal resources.. America is talking to Afghan taliban on table an dkilling others in Pakistani areas?? Why we can't dp peace talks with these taaliban sin Pakistan??

Amna Rizvi Jul 24, 2013 05:33am

@pradeep: 80 CHILDREN KILLED and 1 MAN in a drone strike on a village. Were they relatives of terrorist?? Dont think so! 80 children in 1 strike on a school!! And the west and liberals claim to be champion of Human rights and Malala days!

Muhammad Awais Jul 24, 2013 11:54am

It is an annoying fact and it is more annoying me because Government of Pakistan knew it. Newly elected Government must take actions against all of those who were involved.

dr vimal raina Jul 25, 2013 11:21am

@asgher: I just wonder sir, how do you warn a drone not to enter your air space? Enlighten me please.

Aamir Jul 25, 2013 03:45pm

We're missing the point .... the main issue is NOT about Terrorists vs Civilians Nor it is about Permission vs No Permission.

The main point is that "No One has the right to kill anyone based on his own judgment or belief". The international constitution forbids the governments from depriving any person of life without due process of law; that is, arrest and fair trial.

I would say that there is an evil political drama which is being played in the name of "counterterrorism" and that MUST be stopped.

arif Jul 25, 2013 06:08pm

@Yaqub Ahmad:

No, it is wrong to kill the children but it is immoral to hide behind the children.

arif Jul 25, 2013 06:11pm

@FactCheck: terrorist are a minority, but it is the duty of all muslims to identify them. Talking against the terrorists in public and praying for the sharia law in private will not help the muslims.

arif Jul 25, 2013 06:14pm

@Imran: Iran wants to be paid in Indian rupees for their oil, so much desperate they are.