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PTI Chief Imran Khan. — File Photo

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) has noticed with concern the reports in the US media that the Pakistan government has given a free run to the United States to conduct drone strikes in the Pakistani territory.

In a press release issued here on Monday, the party expressed its dismay at the continuing drone strikes and the contemplated increase in them.

“These strikes have not reduced militancy; in fact are a major stimulant to terrorism,” said PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

“This particular fact has even been pointed out by studies carried out by Stanford and New York University law schools. Most neutral observers have also come to a similar conclusion,” he continued.

He said in the last eight years nearly 360 strikes were carried out with a large proportion, of them over 300 during the tenure of the Obama administration. A conservative estimate, according to him, is that nearly 4,000 people were killed, including a large proportion of non-combatants, women and over 200 children. These statistics tell a story not only of tragedies for the people of FATA but why there has been a huge increase in militancy.

About continuing attacks on troops and horrendous terrorist attacks in different cities, Mr Khan said the perception that Pakistan was a partner of the US in these tragic drone strikes had hugely contributed to it.

He said the US link had provided the militants with a Jihadi narrative where they had been able to paint the struggle as between Islam and infidels. “Unless we get out of this partnership with the United States, hard core nucleus of militancy will continue to use it as a motivational tool for preparing suicide bombers. It is the suicide bombers that have resulted in the tragedy of nearly 40,000 people being martyred in Pakistan,” he said.

Drone strikes, he said, were the single most visible manifestation of the US aggression for the people of FATA and they must end.

The PTI leader lambasted the Pakistan government for not standing up for the protection of its sovereignty and becoming a “willing partner” in the carnage that was continuing to kill innocent men, women and children in FATA.

“This war and the tragedies that ensue as a result of it would never end if we do not dispassionately analyse the causes behind it,” he said.

Comments (11) Closed

Cyrus Howell Jan 22, 2013 04:26am
It does not matter what Iran Khan's political policies are. The Army cannot trust him to act like the kind of leader they want. His power base does not exist. He is not friends with the Sharif brothers. His constituency in the USA are liberals, and liberals are not in charge at the Pentagon. He needs to stick to health care and education. Those are his issues. There is nothing wrong with his opposition to drone strikes - unless it makes him appear weak. How can people without shoes on their feet dictate government policy in Islamabad? Half of his supporters have never even read one book.
havi Jan 22, 2013 04:40am
Khan is an honest and patriotic as an individual and I bet he is able to deal with the core issue and rectify it.
Syed Abdullah Bin Zubair Jan 22, 2013 05:32am
Foreign and Defense Ministries must be answerable, also the ministries and chief Minister of KPK, Syed Abdullah Bin Zubair Islamabad-The Capital of CHANGE
JUnahid Jan 22, 2013 03:39am
In last 5 years IK is only criticizing drone strike and ignoring fact that top leader of TTP were killed in drone strike only. Also IK is just seeking political advantage but rarely taked with any US leader about drone strike.
Syed Jan 22, 2013 03:47am
US drones are doing the job which Pak military are reluctant to do.
tahir Jan 22, 2013 07:33am
At least he has the courage to talk about it.
Tanveer Jan 22, 2013 09:06am
imran must stand on promise what he tells in the conferencesotherwise peoples are not happy and should not give the remarks in air. and should read the article of sencere columnist,not of lifafa and must react.
Tanveer Jan 22, 2013 09:14am
just critisizing not enough and army should take strong action against drown attacks and he should await of government and they should support about their oath for defending nation and the country if they can not then the army chief must resign and 9 years seviceand enjoying the rule is enough.and political parties must do longmarch in order stop of innocent killing otherwise all of us will be accountable atthe day justice about killing s of childerenetc
Gerry D'Cunha Jan 22, 2013 09:19am
syed - 100% correct - the former US ambassador to pakistan was asked in an TV interview if they would continue with drone attack, he said if it was constructive, it will continue
pathanoo Jan 22, 2013 10:25pm
Thank God. Some one in Pakistan has the courage to tell the truth.
Ahmed Jan 23, 2013 09:43pm
We salute you Imran Bhai!