THE prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has rightly pointed out that drone strikes have an adverse effect on the efforts of the government to restore sustainable peace in the country. Therefore, he has urged the US to stop the attacks so that the government itself can effectively continue the process for ending the menace of terrorism…. There is no doubt that drone strikes have caused serious unrest among the people of the tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the past, drone attacks were carried out only in parts of Fata but then settled areas of KP too were attacked and innocent people were killed and displaced. The people of the region have been facing serious problems due to lawlessness and military operations for the last many years. Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes and live in the camps … without proper facilities such as sufficient clean drinking water….
…The people have been demanding an end to drone attacks because most of the victims are stated to be innocent but the US is not paying any attention to them. Various political parties, especially the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Jamaat-i-Islami, and even the internally displaced persons have held demonstrations and observed sit-ins at different places. Even the KP ministers … held demonstrations outside parliament in Islamabad.
…Now the prime minister has told the US defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, during his visit to Islamabad that America should stop the drone strikes as they are complicating the situation in the region. The government should further raise its voice … because Pakistan is playing a vital role as a frontline state … and has the right to get its recommendations accommodated. It is on record that the Pakistani public and law enforcement agencies have rendered huge sacrifices in the war against militancy. … — (Dec 10)
Selected and translated by Ali Hazrat Bacha.
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