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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Imran Khan's Anti Drone Attack March to Waziristan

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Pakistan's Imran Khan starts anti-drone protest
The political administration of Waziristan has prevented PTI’s rally from entering Kotkai on the grounds that they have  not no objection certificate by excavating the big ditches on the way of procession , lead by PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
Earlier Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Khan said  while addressing a large number of supporters at Tank that PTI has achieved the purpose of long march by conveying the message against drone attacks to international community.
He said US drone attacks are violation of international laws and human rights.
Addressing to a mass anti-drone rally in “Jahazi Ground” in Tank, a town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, near South Waziristan border, Khan accused that Pakistani government is playing double game as in close doors it allows US to carry out drone strikes inside Pakistani territory but tells people that it always opposes the attacks.
Imran Khan advised the Zardari government to abandon double standers and tell the true to people of Pakistan.
Khan said that the PTI would clean-sweep the next election, adding that his party would bring big changes in the tribal region and provide employment to the people of the region.
He said that they had successfully raised the voice of tribal people in the world.
He said drone strikes kill many innocent people and these attacks spread hatred against America adding that these are counter productive of terrorism as relatives of victims lift weapons against US.
He criticize the government saying that most of the victims of drone attacks are innocent Pakistanis and its government basic duty to protect its citizens but this puppet government even did not know names of those who have been killing in these attacks.
The PTI chairman said that they had ended their march at Tank because the travelling could be dangerous in the agency in darkness.
“The rally turned back because of curfew in South Waziristan adding that army had sent message that it was security risk to stay in the lawless tribal area” Khan said.
He vowed to abandon English law FCR for FATA areas when come into the power.
“PTI is not scared of anyone. The government tried to make this march unsuccessful but we are determined to bring peace to the country,” Khan said.
Cricketer turned politician warned the government that if thousands of people including women and children can come to tribal area then it easy for them to surround the capital adding the day is not far when he would give call to march towards Islamabad.
He thanked to foreign activists and the PTI’s youth for participating in the march, several British and US activists were also along with Khan in the march.
Peace campaigners condemn the strikes as a violation of international law, Pakistanis as a violation of sovereignty that breeds extremism, and politicians including Khan as a sign of a government complicit in killing its own people.
The rally returned to Tank from Manzai army check post, as authorities forced them to return as it was security risk to stay in the area after sunset.

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Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has begun a motorcade "march" to Pakistan's restive tribal areas to protest against US drone strikes.
The two-day protest started in Islamabad and is due to end in South Waziristan, a major focus of strikes.
Mr Khan set off with a few hundred people. It is not clear if authorities will allow the march to reach its goal.
Mr Khan, like many Pakistanis, says the attacks kill large numbers of civilians and foster support for militants.
"No-one should be allowed to be judge, jury [and] executioner," Mr Kahn said before setting off.
"It's totally counter-productive. All it does is it helps the militants to recruit poor people. Clearly if they were succeeding, these drone attacks, we would be winning the war. But there's a stalemate."

Imran Khan: "No-one should be allowed to be judge, jury [and] executioner"
US officials insist strikes by the unmanned aircraft rarely claim civilian casualties and are an effective weapon against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Mr Khan expects large numbers to join him, but the BBC's Orla Guerin in Islamabad says it is unclear how far the convoy of vehicles will be able to proceed.
Pakistani authorities have expressed security concerns and they may stop the march before it reaches the tribal areas, she says.
The Taliban have criticised both Mr Khan and the rally, but the politician told the BBC he was not worried about militant attacks.
In Dera Ismail Khan, the city in which participants were expected to stay the night, the Taliban distributed leaflets saying it would "welcome" them with bombs.
About 80 western peace activists are in the protest convoy.
Tacit consent?

Drones in Pakistan

  • Recent US report highlighted "terror" felt by civilians in north-west Pakistan, where drones target areas such North and South Waziristan
  • Hundreds of low-level militant commanders and substantial minority of civilians killed
  • Exact figures difficult to compile because independent media and researchers denied access to area by authorities
  • Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates 2,570-3,337 people killed in drone strikes, of which 474-884 were civilians
  • Living Under Drones report says top commanders account for estimated 2% of victims
Mr Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had said the march and a rally in South Waziristan would attract hundreds of thousands of people.
Mr Khan's critics accuse him of trying to boost his party's popularity but supporters say the march shows he is in touch with the concerns of Pakistani people.
Mohammad Ansar Adnan, a student in Islamabad, told Reuters news agency that drone attacks were "an escalating problem".
"If Imran Khan is taking a step to resolve this issue, I think we should all go along with him, and once we are there, we should offer prayers for peace."
Authorities in South Waziristan say they have not given the PTI permission to stage a rally and they cannot provide security for so many people. Officials on the border of the tribal areas told BBC Urdu on Saturday that they would not allow Mr Khan to enter.
The government of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says drone strikes are counterproductive and a violation of its sovereignty.
However, it has done nothing to stop them and many Pakistanis - including Imran Khan - believe this amounts to tacit consent.
In September, a report by Stanford and New York Universities in the US said Pakistani civilians were being "terrorised" 24 hours a day by CIA drone attacks.
It said rescuers treating casualties were also being killed and wounded by follow-up strikes.
The scale of civilian deaths has been difficult to assess because independent media and researchers are denied access to the tribal areas.
US President Barack Obama has insisted that the drone strategy is "kept on a very tight leash" and that without the attacks, the US would have had to resort to "more intrusive military action".
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UN condemns US drone attacks on Pakistan
The United Nations have condemned US drone attacks in Pakistan warning they create "playstation mentality" towards killing. Zubeida Malik reports on the use of drone attack and UN's Philip Alston explains why he thinks the attacks are so worrying.[ BBC, special report]

Supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan were blocked in protests over drone strikes blocked a key road in Pakistan for three days. The protests was called by Tehrik-e- Insaf, the party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, over continued US drone strikes in the north-west. Thousands of lorries were held up by the rally, including 500 supplying Nato troops in northern Afghanistan.

Political blockade
More than 3,000 trucks carrying supplies from the Pakistani port of Karachi to the Afghan capital, Kabul, pass the northern route each day. Nato and other supplies to Afghanistan have often suffered disruptions because of militant attacks. But this is the first time that political protests have caused a blockade, the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says.
US drone attacks have escalated in the region since President Barack Obama took office. More than 100 raids were reported last year. The strikes are are hugely unpopular with the Pakistani public. Many militants, some of them senior, have been killed in the raids, but hundreds of civilians have also died.
Correspondents say they have the tacit approval of the authorities, although Pakistani leaders deny secretly supporting them.
The US does not routinely confirm it conducts drone operations in Pakistan. But analysts say only American forces have the capacity to deploy such aircraft.

The year of the drone-2010
US Predator unmanned drone at Bagram air base in Afghanistan - 27 November 2009
During last 4 years of Musharaf rule, there were 9 US Drone attacks killing 112 people, up to this 4th years of PPP/Zardari rule there has been 223 US Drone attacks in Pakistan, killing 2129 people. [Irfan Siddiqui, http://ejang.jang.com.pk/3-20-2011/Karachi/pic.asp?picname=07_07.gif ]. It is generally estimated that 99% killed were innocent civilian tribesmen.

The United Nations have condemned US drone attacks in Pakistan warning they create "playstation mentality" towards killing.
Zubeida Malik reports on the use of drone attack and UN's Philip Alston explains why he thinks the attacks are so worrying.

US fuel tanker under attack - Analysis

These attacks are taking place at a time of heightened tension.
Public anger here has been very strong since last week's Nato air-strike in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed.
Pakistan is determined to register its protest and closing the Khyber Pass is a very effective way of putting the squeeze on Nato because the alliance relies on the Khyber Pass.
It is a key lifeline for supplies going into Afghanistan. Up to 80% of Nato's non-lethal supplies are going through Pakistan so while the pass remains closed it is a critical situation for Nato forces.

THE blowback effect of the US drone policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan has not only further destabilised Pakistan’s civilian government but proved futile as a decapitation strategy.
When drones kill innocent bystanders it infuriates the Taliban — on both sides of the border — who use this campaign to recruit additional foot soldiers and suicide bombers. In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about drone strikes that they do more harm than good.
McClatchy quoted an intelligence official saying that Al Qaeda and the Taliban were using these strikes as a catalyst for the jihadi movement in Pakistan to show ‘Americans as cowards who are afraid to face their enemies and risk death.’ Certain military officials involved in counterterrorism operations have also said that drone strikes are a ‘recruiting windfall for the Pakistani Taliban.’
That is also journalist Zahid Hussain’s argument in his second book The Scorpion’s Tale which charts the aftereffects of the ongoing drone campaign and the strategic costs that have far exceeded tactical gains. It questions whether such strikes that have successfully taken out certain mid-to-high value militant targets can point to a winner in the fight against insurgency.
The US drone programme, originally authorised by former US president George Bush against a smaller list of Al Qaeda’s most-wanted high-level militants began with a limited mandate but in early 2008 all previous restraints were removed.
Precise ground intelligence was required in the scenario of a strike, which could not be approved unless the target was identified accurately, and a complete assessment of collateral damage had to ensure against significant civilian casualties.
David Sanger writes in The Inheritance (2009) how Bush authorised strikes against targets merely based on visual evidence of a ‘typical’ Al Qaeda motorcade or a group entering a house with links to Al Qaeda or its Pakistani Taliban allies.
There are obvious moral and legal issues with drone strikes but Hussain’s observation is focused on whether this powerful tool has deterred young, disaffected youth from joining militant groups.
Scorpion’s Tale charts how Faisal Shahzad, the failed-would-be-terrorist cultivated contacts with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and why when questioned by a New York judge said he was avenging the many drone strike deaths.
The author recounts the tenuous relationship between the US and Pakistan, not only because of Shahzad’s failed Times Square attack but because ‘the bombing attempt has convinced the Americans that the targeted killing of militants by the drone strikes was insufficient to stem the tide of the insurgency.’
He writes how drone warfare has collectively massed the Pakistani Taliban and other local militant groups under the Al Qaeda network into closer collaboration, creating an army of militants who share manpower, recruitment techniques and services and financial resources, and cannot be defeated by the Pakistani establishment any time soon. Hussain claims that the drone attacks have also ‘inspired a flood of new recruits.’
Figures for this year show that September has so far been recorded as the busiest month for drone operators with the number of attacks exceeding those in the first five years of implementing this strategy in 2004. However, with the recent estimate by the American CIA that currently there are about 100 Al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and another 300 or so across the border, most should (or could) have been targeted since 2004.
A recent study by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann at the New America Foundation shows that the 203 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 to the present — including 107 in 2010 — have killed approximately 1,286 to 1,981 individuals, of whom around 975 to 1,446 were described as militants in media accounts. Thus the true non-militant fatality rate since 2004 according to this analysis is approximately 25 per cent. In 2010, it is nearer to six percent. These figures negate the high civilian fatality ratio.
Much like Husssain’s earlier book, Frontline Pakistan (2007), this timely narrative has information collated after recorded interviews and investigation, and it serves as a precursor to the December review of the Afghan war strategy. What then becomes relevant in regards to this review is whether the counterinsurgency strategy at work in Afghanistan has proven successful as touted repeatedly by key US commanders on the ground or is in fact weak and ineffectual.
There are no new revelations in Scorpion’s Tale which is a drawback if you’re looking for exclusivity, but its invaluable documentation and collation of events provide insight into the power politics at play in Pakistan, which aids and abets the rise of extremism. Hussain’s narrative will especially be of interest to readers who are new to this region as it explains why the war in Afghanistan has cross-border references that threaten US interests globally and also Pakistan’s internal fractured security.
When the Soviets withdrew in 1989 the Mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan nurtured by CIA money and ISI patronage looked to Kashmir as the new battleground. Hussain notes that Kashmir did not suddenly become a focus of Islamic extremism in the late 1980s, but had nurtured radicalisation since 1947. He argues that because of Islam’s pivotal inclusion in the affairs of the state, the use of religion for playing politics became an effective tool readily available to successive civilian and military leaders, who rather than working to counter its influence, manipulate it for their own survival.
Scorpion’s Tale questions why the use of military power hasn’t stopped the flow of militant recruits and why radical ideologies triumph. If there are a greater number of young men desirous to fight, undeterred by the kill-or-capture approach, is the campaign against terrorism being won or lost?
This book is a compelling reminder of the challenges faced by both the Pakistani government and the US-led forces in Afghanistan in finding a non-military solution to curbing extremism. It should make those who are in the corridors of power wonder whether the answer lies in greater combat, or instead in negotiating with the Taliban and countering the radical ideologies of terror groups by providing opportunities for education, employment and better living conditions to the people living in the region.

Book Reviewed By Razeshta Sethna,
The Scorpion’s Tale: The relentless rise of Islamic militants in Pakistan — and how it threatens the world (TERRORISM) By Zahid Hussain Simon and Schuster, New York  

ISBN 978-1-4516-2721-3 ,245pp. 

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08 Jan 2011
Figures for this year show that September has so far been recorded as the busiest month fordrone operators with the number of attacks exceeding those in the first five years of implementing this strategy in 2004. ...
31 Jan 2011
Drone strikes were a comparative rarity when President Bush was in office, but have been dramatically and repeatedly escalated by President Obama, usually in retaliation for attacksby militant groups. This has led CMC to term the ...
24 Feb 2011
Counterproductive Drone Attacks in Pakistan Creating more Hatred ... In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about ...
31 Mar 2011
Counterproductive Drone Attacks in Pakistan Creating more Hatred ... In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about ..
25 Dec 2010
Pape and his team of researchers draw on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world that was partially funded by the Defense Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency. ... He's in fact saying: I am taking revenge for the dronestrikes in the tribal areas. So he's acting more like a tribesman whose involvement in Pashtun values . . . one of the primary features of that is revenge, rather then saying I'm going to have a jihad or I've ...
06 Feb 2011
As in all such CIA drone attacks, the victims are described as “militants,” but this has not been independently verified. Often, such reports have proven false, with evidence emerging that among those killed by the drone missiles are ...
12 Mar 2011
Counterproductive Drone Attacks in Pakistan Creating more Hatred ... In April 2009 warnings by US military and intelligence officials as reported by the McClatchy News Service echoed what certain dissenting CIA operatives had said about ..
12 Feb 2011
The drone attacks inside Pakistani territory have brought protests from the public, the political parties and the media as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. There is a third perception that the US is following anti-Islam policies. .
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