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Yet more drone strikes

Published Aug 23, 2012 02:05am

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COINCIDING with the visit of US Centcom chief Gen James Mattis to Pakistan last week, there has been a marked increase in drone strikes in North Waziristan Agency. A strike was conducted on Tuesday while two drone attacks were reported on Sunday.

Saturday — the day Eid was celebrated in the agency — also saw a drone strike. There are indications that in one of the strikes missiles were fired at the same compound twice, as people undertook rescue work after an earlier attack. According to reports, such ‘double-tap’ attacks, in which those arriving at the scene of a drone strike are also targeted, seem to be becoming a routine part of America’s drone policy.

Unfortunately, targeting gatherings in tribal areas under the assumption that all present are militants or their sympathisers is problematic, especially if there is no clear evidence to prove their identity. In the aftermath of the recent barrage of drone strikes, such evidence has yet to be produced. This, and the sheer insensitivity of timing the attacks to coincide with the Eid season will only alienate an anti-American public further. What also fuels anger is that such unilateral strikes by the US violate the principles of sovereignty. Even if the US can come up with irrefutable evidence that the strikes have taken out dangerous militants, drone operations must involve Pakistani coordination and consensus. Trigger-happy strikes will do no more than aggravate the crisis and sour an already un-easy relationship. Without doubt, North Waziristan is a hub of militants and terrorists of every stripe who threaten the security of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a crackdown in the area by Pakistani forces is imperative. But no military operation will be helped by the US blindly — and unilaterally — raining down drones on the agency.

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Comments (7) Closed



Wipewitbothands Aug 23, 2012 03:32pm
The real enemy is ignorance.
malik Aug 23, 2012 03:50am
I do not see any link between drone attacks and anit americal sentiments. If it was not drones we will find something else for our anti american rhetoric.
shankar Aug 23, 2012 05:14am
Yet more protests against drone attacks on terrorists?
Jaihoon Aug 23, 2012 06:20am
Terrorist sanctuaries and cross-border terrorism make drone strikes sine qua non as US invokes the right of self-defense enshrined in the UN Charter.
Sayed Aug 23, 2012 07:43am
Anti American rethoric is a handy tool rather than a reality. the controls lie with the administration
Hitesh Aug 23, 2012 08:08am
If the victims are innocent citizen of Pakistan then Pakistan should present the evidences before the International community as India always does.
Abdul salam Aug 23, 2012 09:45am
Pakistan is an soveirgn country and drones are atacks on its soveriegnity . In these attacks not only terrorist but also pakistani citizens are being killed.