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Posts tagged with: Drones

Are they “Children of a Lesser God?”

Drones Kill Children TooYou must have abundantly heard about School shooting in the US where children are brutally murdered by maniacs, the world gushed a shock at the inhumanity of how a person could have the heart to kill a child.

What people seem to forget amongst another statistics are the CHILDREN killed in Pakistan courtesy of US Drone action in Pakistan.  Drones Watch has aggregated a list of the names of about 97 Pakistani children killed by US Drones attack in Pakistan – The data has been extracted from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – The excuse is that these highly accurate equipment is necessary to coordinate targeted attacks designed to take out various Al-Qaeda militants hiding in the tribal belt of Pakistan.

With the presented list of over 97 children under the age of 18 – is this a mere accidental casual collateral damage or are these actual innocent human children suffering due to shear ignorance of the Pakistani Parliamentarians to not stop the drone menace in Pakistan.  No one has heard about these children, probably no one wanted this list to be compiled – but what fault is it of these children to have been killed for no fault of their own – mind you this is a list of 97 children whose names have been documented and recorded – I fear to think how many hundred more there might be who simply dont get counted.

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Who Watches the Watchmen? on Drone Warfare

A though provoking post by Kulsom from Changing up Pakistan she writes … the issue of drones goes beyond the issue of legality. It touches on the progression of warfare as a whole. Arguably the foundation of international law, is really being compromised in favor of the arbitrarily defined “greater good.”

This is not to say that human beings do not play a significant role in today’s conflicts. But is the “automation” of warfare something that should concern us. As we become more detached and more removed, are we losing touch with the humanity of warfare. Civilian casualties become dots on a computer screen, the collateral damage of the “best worst option.” And we in turn become increasingly distanced from the reasons why we engage in conflict in the first place. nevertheless. Who does watch the watchmen? – LINK


Karachi, Navy, Terror, Dharna

Waking up once again to the news of a terrible blast– the third in 48 hours in Karachi, all three on Naval buses! Two things make these blasts distinct from the others that make the daily news in Pakistan: one, the death toll (that is different for every blast of course) and two, this time around our law enforcing agencies already had information of the attacks on Naval cadre. Of course, the attackers did not specify the time, venue and nature of attacks, neither did they send our agencies the ID’s of the attackers, nor did the attackers presented themselves to the law enforcers so our law enforcing agencies and government are certainly not to be blamed for their criminal negligence!

This reminds me, last night a friend told me I should be thankful I live in a peaceful and safe area of Karachi; their area (Gulistan-e-Johar) is Afghanistan, with Baghdad starting from right around the Johar Mor! We are so immune to bloodshed that we practically laugh upon heaps of mutilated dead bodies!

No, we don’t stop at just that, this ridiculous behavior is only limited to the average of the masses. The more literate, the wiser ones do it in a different way. They baselessly criticize, call naïve and morally corrupt fame-seeker any leader who in these most horrendous of circumstances has the courage to give a two-full-days successful dharna against killing of our innocent Pakistanis, in the most targeted city of Peshawar, staying up in the midst of his supporters all night, sleeping on the floor of the stage and wearing a simple latha shalwar kameez (as opposed to the million dollar ‘cheap’ suits other leaders wear!).
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Op-ed: For whom the drone tolls

A question lurks within the mind of every Pakistani: where are we headed with this war on/of terror? Is Pakistan a simple ‘franchisee’ or are we developing our own long-term interests in this war? The strategy to hit out at selected al Qaeda targets unfolded in early 2007 when our government offered facilities for launching drones remotely controlled by joystick operators in distant lands. The decision to kill was left in the hands of ‘informers’ on the ground who planted homing devices near houses that needed to be bombed. A menacing ‘whistle’ precedes the actual impact, many running for cover not knowing ‘for whom the bell tolls’, leaving many unintentionally dead and others maimed for life. So-called ‘collateral damage’, has been a sterile term. Women and children wailing and shrieking, mourners lifting their dead. The psychological impact has swung any remnant of anti-al Qaeda sentiment into anti-military and anti-US anger.
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The Risks Of A Remote-Controlled War: CIA using Drones for International Assassination

Jane Mayer, a political journalist for The New Yorker discusses the ethics and controversies surrounding the CIA’s covert drone program, in which remotely controlled, unmanned planes target terror suspects in Pakistan. A 32 minutes interview on NPR [transcript]

Mayer writes that unlike the military’s publicly acknowledged drone program in Afghanistan and Iraq — both official war zones — the CIA’s campaign doesn’t operate in support of U.S. troops on the ground. Instead it’s a secret program, run partly by private contractors, that amounts to “targeted international killings by the state,” in the words of one human-rights lawyer. Because of its covert status, there’s “no visible system of accountability in place,”


Pakistanis feel US is a bigger threat than Talibans: Al-Jazeera & Gallup Pakistan Poll

pakistan survey Al-JAn exclusive Al Jazeera survey of public opinion in Pakistan has revealed widespread disenchantment with the United States for interfering with what most people consider internal Pakistani affairs. This survey was done interviewing more than 2,500 men and women across the rural and urban areas in all four provinces of Pakistan on July 26 and 27. The margin of error is + 2-3 per cent at 95 per cent confidence level. Al-Jazeera wraps up the results in a detailed analysis but a quick look at the survey is as follows

  • On the Military Operation; 41% were in Favor, 24% in Opposition, 22% remained neutral and 13% were undecided
  • On US-Led Drone Attacks: 9% were in Favor, 67% were in Opposition and 24% chose to remain neutral
  • On Dialog vs Offensive: 41% felt the need for Military Action, 43% wanted a Dialogue while 16% did not have an opinion
  • On President Zardari: 11% felt he was Good, while a majority of 42% considered him Bad, 34% responded as Neither Good or Bad leaving the remaining 13% as undecided
  • On Pakistan Peoples Party: 20% felt it was Good, 38% responded that PPP was Bad, 30% said it was Neither good or Bad while the remaining 12% did not know.
  • On their choice of the Best Leader for Pakistan: President Zardari came at measly 9%, Prime Minister Gilani at 13%, Nawaz Sharif at 38%, 8% favored a Military Government, while 11% felt a joint PPP and PML-N govt was good, only 6% felt Religious Parties were beneficial for Pakistan, 6% of the respondents chose other leaders leaving the last 8% of undecided
  • On the threat from the Taliban vs the USA and India: 11% felt that Pakistani Taliban were a threat, India factored at 18%, while the US topped the threat radar at 59%, leaving the remaining 12% as undecided

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More drones and more suicide attacks – Where are we going?

Guest Post by Insouciant

orakzaiagencyAs the new Afghan-Pakistan policy of Obama is unfolding it is now evident that the drones attack will be an essential part of it. Another drone attack in Orakzai agency was carried out yesterday that left nearly 14 dead and several injured. The victims included foreign militants, locals, women and children. Yes, it was collateral. The thing that strikes me immediately is that Orakzai agency is the only agency among the seven of FATA that does not border Afghanistan.

Wait a minute – Had our bosses in the Washington not said that there will be drones only in the borderly areas? Or, if it should not be a concern as long as our Prime Minister is confident that the drones will not enter in Swat and Balochistan, after all this is from where the Pakistani governance starts these days on the map. Gillani looked really ugly when he announced with a sense of accomplishment that “they had taken up the issue of drone attacks with America and that there would be no drone attacks in Swat and Balochistan”.
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