Growing Consensus Against U.S Drone Attacks

Posted on April 16, 2009
Filed Under >Jauhar Ismail, Foreign Relations, Politics
Total Views: 42610


Jauhar Ismail

The recent visit to Pakistan by the U.S Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and Admiral Mike Mullen highlighted the growing differences between Pakistan and the United States on how to tackle the threat of Pakistani Taliban. At another level, their visit also signified an emerging consensus between Pakistan’s political leadership and security establishment that it can not afford to give in to the U.S. demands and need to chart a different course.

As a recent Dawn editorial noted, the visiting U.S. team was taken aback by the tone of Pakistani officials. Instead of arm-twisting Pakistan into agreeing to joint military operations in the tribal areas, they were confronted with a barrage of criticism and the visit ended with a rare and public acknowledgment of the differences between the two sides. While the PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has been forceful in his opposition to these attacks for quite some time, it appears that the Prime Minister Gilani, President Zardari and the COAS Gen. Kiyani has finally thrown their weight behind this argument. Also a recent report from the bipartisan National Security committee condemned such attacks in the “strongest possible manner”.

Ironically its the Americans that deserve most of the “credit” for causing this convergence of thinking in Pakistan. A sustained campaign of charges in the U.S. press against the ISI for its alleged links with militants led by the senior U.S. Generals coupled with the threat of an expansion in drone attacks to cover Baluchistan and settled parts of Pakistan has finally convinced the national leaders to come out against the U.S. plans. Pakistan is also frustrated at the United States for its failure to make Pakistan’s strategic interests in Afghanistan a part of its new strategy for the region.

While it is too early to know if Pakistan can put up enough resistance to stop these attacks by unmanned aircrafts, it is good to see the change in nation’s attitude. Sovereignty is something that you either use or loose and in the case of Pakistan, we have opted for the later for the past 8 years. No one can deny the emerging threat of Taliban emanating from Pakistan’s tribal belt yet no sovereign country can allow such attacks by a foreign power. The western media often cites the killing of high-level Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders to justify such tactics but they often fail to recognize the impact of such attacks at the strategic level: in addition to the backlash caused by the civilian casualties, these attacks put Pakistan government and army in an impossible situation that they can’t possibly cope with. They have also caused the Taliban to move eastwards into the more settled areas where such attacks are not possible due to population density. A recent report in the Foreign policy magazine summarized the situation as follows:

The US administration justified the drone attacks by claiming it would deny the militants a ‘safe haven’ in Pakistan.‘This line of argument sounds persuasive, but it falls apart on closer examination. For starters, it is not clear that al Qaeda requires a safe haven to do damage, especially since the original organisation has metastasised into smaller groups of sympathisers.’

The magazine pointed out that only a large-scale invasion could eliminate al Qaeda from the region but such an invasion was impossible and therefore there was little reason to continue the drone attacks.

‘US military strikes in Pakistan —even limited ones —tend to undermine the Pakistani government and increase the risk that Pakistan will become a failed state,’ the report noted.

42 Comments on “Growing Consensus Against U.S Drone Attacks”

  1. Truth Seeker says:
    April 16th, 2009 7:11 pm

    The problem is the billions of dollars of aid money. Nobody is giving away money for free in this economy. This basically is a compromise of sovereignty in lieu of a few billion dollars. The first step has to be refusal to accept money.

    But that would amount to a confrontation mode with America. That may not be desirable. However, nobody is giving solutions to Obama on what is a feasible alternative to Drone attacks. Pakistani official agencies are perceived by the West to be sympathetic to the Taliban.

    Obama is not gonna trust Pakistani autorities who made the deal with SWAT taliban to take out high value Al-Qaeda targets. He would rather take that responsibility under his own direct control.

    Someone needs to give him a feasible logical alternative. Simple dissent (after accepting the dollars) will not work.

  2. A says:
    April 16th, 2009 7:18 pm

    It’s the only way to eliminate elements (foreign and alien) who have occupied our land when our Army is surrendering again and again. If it ever comes to this, I will be fine bombed by UN forces than lashed by Taliban but before that I will fight for what is my country against Taliban

  3. Hamza says:
    April 16th, 2009 9:51 pm

    I think this is a very pertinent topic to discuss. Reading the print media, and following the talking heads on our electronic media suggests that there is a strong consensus in Pakistani society against Drone attacks. I don’t disagree. But the above statement only holds true when we talk about urban populations. What about the people of the tribal areas? What are their views on this matter?

    The only study that has examined the views of the people of the tribal areas is one conducted by the Aryana Institute, the findings of which are summarized by Dr. Farhat Taj here.

    Now, it may be right that many of us Pakistanis, most of whom have an urban background consider these drone attacks a violation of our national sovereignty. That’s true. But for the people of the tribal areas, Dr Taj persuasively argues, they are the only force that is attacking their oppressors, the Taliban.


  4. Adil says:
    April 16th, 2009 10:15 pm

    You can never entrust your defence in the hands of others. Even if there is a genuine need of attacks, US should not be allowed to do it. Pakistan should be operating in it’s own area.

    Uptill now, in all the drone attacks, there is no proof provided by US that there were Taliban in those places that were bombed. Women and children have died in these attacks. So US better stop this.

  5. ASAD says:
    April 16th, 2009 10:21 pm

    Can someone please give me a count of how many Muslims have been murdered by the Taliban and other suicide bombers etc. since the beginning of the year. And how many by the US drones?

  6. Harris Siddiqi says:
    April 16th, 2009 10:35 pm

    The drone attacks did not start overnight or without any warnings. Pakistan’s government was given dozens of opportunities to control the situation that was fast becoming a nightmare for the whole world.

    All Pakistani security forces did was retreat from every inch, got the Pakistani soldiers slaughtered or kidnapped and signed numerous “deals” from the position of weakness, the results of that are for everyone to see.

    I do have one question for the flag barriers of “honor” and “sovereignty”. Why was everyone quiet about losing their honor when Afghan groups led by Haqqani etc. were openly operating in Pakistani territory and establishing their “emirates”?

  7. Khurram Farooqui says:
    April 16th, 2009 11:03 pm

    For the last few weeks the New Yoork Times ( has been publishing articles about Pakistan (the political situation, the fight against the Taliban, the drone attacks, etc.)

    According to them the drone attcks are happening with the tacit approval of the Pakistani government. Pakistani intelligence selects many of the targets, and the planes fly from a Pakistani airbase.

    Todays edition has a chilling article about how the Taliban are advancing by strategically creating a rift between the landlords and the workers on the land. In Swat they kicked out (killed or intimidated) dozens of the most powerful land-owners and use the poor subservient workers to bolster their own forces. This strategy will probably be used in Punjab as well.

    We are losing the war. Most of us don’t even realize it, perhaps. Why else would the government make a “deal” with the Taliban?

  8. Iqbal says:
    April 16th, 2009 11:05 pm

    It is easy to feel indignation against the drone attacks….they just fit too neatly in our national “foreign hand” theory of denial. Any esteemed politician or a self-righteous maulana can get away by blaming the obvious intransigence of drone attack as the cause of social upheaval and suicide bombings. The phrase of “drone hamla” is so often used that it somehow doesn’t even feel foreign; it has been absorbed in Urdu.

    Yet we overlook the 800lb gorilla of drone attacks: the attacks are not the cause, they are an effect of a nation having no control over its domain. Eliminate this cause by establishing sovereign control of FATA and you will eliminate the need for drone attacks. Until then happens, they are a relatively better solution than just plain ol’ B-52 carpet bombing.

    Lets hope it stays that way!

  9. wasiq says:
    April 17th, 2009 12:24 am

    Pakistan has an ineffectual-bloated military establishment that would be unaffordable without foreign ‘aid.’ Even with massive foreign aid, the military that appears unwilling and incapable of establishing the writ of law consumes a third of the entire government budget. What do we all get for this huge expense in treasure and sovereignty: fancy military cantonments for the enlisted, shiny hospitals for the families enlisted, better-than private education for the children of the enlisted, and easy access to foreign travel, visas to the West, and frequent UN peacemaking mission junkets to Bosnia, Liberia, etc. I am not hopeful. American drone attacks will enrage the public, destroy any remaining authority the government clings to, and the government which was always a shell organization doling out protocol and satrapies will be exposed for what it is: a double-dealing cesspool of deceit and incompetence. There is no way in hell that Pakistan is going to win any war against anybody — the militancy will grow in potency, the army and police will retreat further, and those who can, will flee for there lives. Americans seem perpetually to underestimate the depth of public and official antipathy to everything about them and they wrongly assume that accepting American money might signal a willingness to adopt an American agenda. Pakistanis wrongly assume that taking American money while enabling America’s enemies will do no harm to their homeland, the contradictions in these points of view are now manifest.

  10. Calculating_Misfit says:
    April 17th, 2009 1:23 am

    “While the PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has been forceful in his opposition to these attacks for quite some time, it appears that the Prime Minister Gilani, President Zardari and the COAS Gen. Kiyani has finally thrown their weight behind this argument.”

    Is there anything new here? Bluster from Pakistani leaders about drone attacks are a dime a dozen. I believe both Zardari and Kiyani have opposed the attacks in the past. It would be political suicide to do otherwise.

    “While it is too early to know if Pakistan can put up enough resistance to stop these attacks by unmanned aircrafts, it is good to see the change in nation

  11. banjara286 says:
    April 17th, 2009 1:45 am

    the protest against drone attacks is irrational at best; at worst it is topi drama by the pak establishment. we can talk all we want about our sovereignty but if we cannot demonstrate control over its own territory, such protest is going to fall on deaf ears. to make matters worse we also continue to be aggressively out there with the begging bowl demanding 10 where donors are reluctant to offer even 1. that does not make for a good bargaining position.

  12. faisal says:
    April 17th, 2009 4:12 am

    It really doesn’t matter to me who kills these extremely brutal people who hide behind their version of sharia to commit anything they want.

  13. YLH says:
    April 17th, 2009 5:04 am

    Our children are forced to stay home on account of the threat of terror… militants have forced the state to capitulate in its own territory (Swat) … Punjab govt is sponsoring local version of the KKK … and Balochistan is burning without any attention from any one…

    And you are talking about “drone attacks”? Bus kardo bus!

  14. Ahmed Karim says:
    April 17th, 2009 5:33 am

    Actually we are the nation whose leaders prefer dollars over Sovereignty. This is American money because of which even if some place is hit in Pakistan from other side of the border, our government can take its responsibility on its own shoulders. “Give us money and attack us” Now this should be come to an end. Our army “Allah’s Mujahdeens” should counter american drawn atacks because people of Pakistan will be with them if it do so otherwise people may further lose their trust on army and all the problems should be sorted out through dialog. One thing must be realized by us Pakistanis, instead of relying on foreign aid and technology we should do research by our own selves. We must improve our standard of education. In short, The policy of national self reliance should be pursued as it is only thing because of which we Pakistanies could be regarded as a respectable nation in the world and make progress in real terms.

  15. Sikander Hayat says:
    April 17th, 2009 7:39 am

    Pakistan must chart its own course but also there is no need to make enemies on the way. US is blamed for everything bad in our country and we never look at our own shortcomings and mistakes.
    It is just like Balochistan and other provinces blaming Punjab for everything bad within those provinces. It is some sort of complex that we hate America but given the chance most Pakistanis would like to live in USA under the laws of that so called

  16. PMA says:
    April 17th, 2009 8:55 am

    Wasiq: Your anger is spread over many areas. First the Pak Armed Forces:

    “Pakistan has an ineffectual-bloated military establishment that would be unaffordable without foreign

  17. Sceptic says:
    April 17th, 2009 10:30 am

    After Calculating_Misfit

  18. wasiq says:
    April 17th, 2009 11:31 am


    Thanks for your note. ‘We the people’ are the center of the problem. Democracy doesn’t work without the engagement of the public and that includes people like me who’ve spent their lives outside Pakistan. Your question has made me think and it may be a while before I really have an answer as to what I might have or could have done differently. For starters, I might have devoted more time, money, and effort to being in Pakistan, to working there, to spending funds there. The things I’ve done have been little-inconsequential things and I wonder what could have been done that might have mattered. I considered living in Pakistan on several occassions — even went looking for work which I found, but later turned down. The money wasn’t enough and I feared professional oblivion.

  19. Aamir Ali says:
    April 17th, 2009 12:45 pm

    The drones have disrupted the safe havens enjoyed by militants and have caused them considerable losses. That is why the militants are so concerned about them and making so much noise.

    I think Pakistanis also recognize this deep down but can’t support the policy due to national pride.

  20. Farrukh says:
    April 17th, 2009 4:05 pm

    The drones are having no impact at all on reducing the militants but are actually strengthening them by giving them more popularity. The anti-Americanism being forstered by the drones is ADDING to the support of the Taliban and other extremists and that is what they are a bad idea, irrespective of all other arguments.

  21. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 17th, 2009 4:13 pm

    Why weren’t these people protesting about Marriott, or Chakwal, or Wah, or Lahore High Court (ignoring the scores of attacks in Peshawar and other towns of NWFP)… or any number of attacks by the terrorists on our people? Why not say “khudkush hamlay roko ya hakoomat chhorro”, or “Stop Draculean Terrorist attacks, resulting in bloodshed of innocent Pakistanis”? This is worse than apathy. This is sickeningly mad.

    Why protest only the Drone attacks? How many times more innocents have the terrorists killed than the Drone attacks? How many terrorists have the terrorists killed? How many have been killed by the Drones? We hate Americans more than we love our own children?

    “Army must be willing to put personnel on streets, towns and villages and conduct active patrolling to ensure security for civilians and civic institutions. The American approach of sitting in secure bases, and using air power and heavy weaponry is not going to work at all.”

    Pak Army has not adopted a single, standard counter insurgency tactic in all this time. Half-heartedly lobbing shells in the general direction of a village, town or mountain not only kills civilians, it exposes the Army’s lack of will. The Army obviously does not wish to fight this menace. It has other ideas. Or do the Taliban have an airforce and heavy artillery and cannot be approached?

    Saying that we are only fighting this war under the threat of being bombed in to the stone age, confuses our people and soldiers. The real turnaround would be if we owned up and said it was all because of the suicidally stupid tactics of ‘strategic depth’ and using jihadis as a proxy paramilitaray. Of turning our own youth in to jihadis. Other countries too aid and encourage militias and troublemakers inside enemy countries. But we ingeniously created and encouraged religous and sectarian militias within our own society, to be used against the ‘enemy’. But the Army does not have the courage to own up. Yet, without owning up.. the confusion, equivocation, ambivalence and the same policy will continue.

    The people are so blinded by their religiosity and bigotry, that the army has no fear of any political pressure developing urging them to fight; and fight the way any professional army fights an insurgency inside one’s own country… with insurgents hiding amongst one’s own countrymen. It’s nothing new nor impossible. It has been done, and done successfully in other parts of the world.

  22. morbid fascination says:
    April 17th, 2009 5:34 pm

    Pak Army has not adopted a single, standard counter insurgency tactic in all this time.

    How can they cut down what you have so tenderly raised?

    The people are so blinded by their religiosity and bigotry, that the army has no fear of any political pressure developing urging them to fight;

    Gentle Reminder: The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was a state created on the bedrock of religion. Expecting it to morph into a secular democracy because Jinnah envisioned it as such won’t make it so. Why cry foul now that the Age of Consequences has dawned?

    Pakistan’s neighbors need to gird for the virulent spawn of the moribund State of Pakistan. Frightening thought.

  23. Aamir Ali says:
    April 17th, 2009 6:27 pm

    @morbid fascination

    You Indians would better get your point across if you weren’t so patronizing and insulting as well.

    For your information, all the “Islamic” parties and clergy opposed Jinnah and the creation of Pakistan, because its founders wanted a state where Muslims and minorites could practice religion freely and without fear.

    Hence the Taliban etc. violate the basic premise of Pakistan. Islam doesn’t automatically mean mullah rule, flogging, women mistreatment etc.

  24. Nostalgic says:
    April 17th, 2009 9:58 pm

    Given the choice between the drones violating our airspace and the thousands of foreign terrorists and their local hosts blighting our land, I will happily opt for the former…

    These people who cry hoarse at the odd civilian death that also takes out AQ operatives, do not bat an eyelid when the terrorists kill dozens in our cities… hypocricy, thy name is [insert name of your favorite rightwing group here]… how many demonstrations did [insert name of your favorite rightwing group here] take out after the last suicide bombing that TTP owned up to?

    The “civilians” who die are those who knowingly provide shelter to terrorists who either violate our territory or are criminals waging a war against their own country… “civilians” they may be by some convoluted definition, but the “innocent” modifier appended before “civilian” is just not correct…

    Let them die in these drone attacks… why shed tears for them when they kill us without remorse…

    Ideally, it should be our own forces that should be doing the killing… since they have been unable and ineffective, the federal and provincial governments spineless and the vast rightwing opposition so hypocritical, I will swallow my pride and cheer the deaths of the terrorists who die in the drone strikes…

  25. razia says:
    April 17th, 2009 11:51 pm

    the only way to stop the bloodshed and utter chaos in the country is to first stop the drone attacks and then go after the ‘taliban’, ‘al-qaeda’, ‘extremists’ or whoever they are.

    drones are the problem not the solution.

    TARIQ ALI: … what is quite staggering is that in order to sustain the occupation of Afghanistan, a country of 30 million people, the United States is now seriously considering destabilizing Pakistan, which is a country of 175 million people. And they don

  26. Orakzai says:
    April 18th, 2009 8:19 am


    Orakzai: Taliban militants executed a man and a woman in public on charges of having illicit relations. The couple was shot with Kalashnikovs in front of their relatives, in Hangu district of troubled North West Pakistan.

    The shocking footage of the shooting incident which took place a few days back near the border of Orakzai Agency was made available to a Pakistani media outlet on Friday, the Dawn News channel reported.

    The footage made available to Dawn showed the Taliban shooting the man, aged around 40 and a woman, who is about 45 years old, in an open space in the presence of their relatives and a large crowd.

    In the footage, the woman was heard appealing to the Taliban,

  27. sidhas says:
    April 18th, 2009 10:06 am

    Pakistani leadership and people have failed to do justice to Pakistan. External and internal threat to Pakistan should be met with force and we just look the other way.

  28. ATHEIST says:
    April 18th, 2009 1:55 pm

    TALIBAN are the bad seeds, pakistanies should be thankfull to americans that they are killing them, i have met many pakistanies who are against drone attacks but they never could bring a shread of logic why drone attcacks should not happen.

  29. Riaz Haq says:
    April 18th, 2009 2:33 pm

    While there has been widespread condemnation of the Taliban imposing Shariah Law and justifiable outcry against the flogging of a teenage girl in Swat by the Western and Pakistani media, there’s been a very little reported about the Taliban’s popular war on the landed elite in Swat. The emerging accounts from Pakistanis who have fled Swat now make clear that the Taliban seized control by pushing out about four dozen landlords who held the most power in the former princely state. It also explains why the soldiers and policemen refused to fight on behalf of the landlord politicians against the Taliban who are supported by their oppressed brethren.

  30. Riaz Haq says:
    April 18th, 2009 8:37 pm

    While there has been widespread condemnation of the Taliban imposing Shariah Law and justifiable outcry against the flogging of a teenage girl in Swat by the Western and Pakistani media, there’s been a very little reported about the Taliban’s popular war on the landed elite in Swat. The emerging accounts from Pakistanis who have fled Swat now make clear that the Taliban seized control by pushing out about four dozen landlords who held the most power in the former princely state. It also explains why the soldiers and policemen refused to fight on behalf of the landlord politicians against the Taliban who are supported by their oppressed brethren.

  31. X-Pakistani says:
    April 18th, 2009 10:08 pm

    Big difference between civil gov’t/society and Taliban version of Sharia is understanding that ‘Answer to violence is not violence’. Mullah trained jihadees teenagers don’t know and have no means of knowing what is life with peace and tolerance that concept is western luxury and portrayed ‘evil’. Pakistan is going towards the dark ages of Zia regime and Zardaari is giving it on a silver platter. Drone attack is only a stepping stone. But ahhh….. lets keep the score correct on who is selling our country’s soul……that is our crap leadership Altaaf’s, Sharif’s and Zardaaris who we elected ourselves :) except mullah….mullah lost widely in the last election but making a big come back. I just realized that I don’t have a solution to this mess…….even education can’t save a nation which is on rapid path to self-distruction. Well, perhaps give a drink and a prostitute to all 72 virgin lover mullahs, things might come to normal.

  32. Bhadur Khan says:
    April 19th, 2009 12:41 am

    IT is clear that the drones are NOT our biggest problem, the religious extremists are. But there is no way we can fight the extremists until we have done something about the drones. They only help the extremists in selling their message.

  33. Prem says:
    April 19th, 2009 6:34 am

    The more and more I think about resistance to drone attack the more strongly I feel that Taliban and other terrorists organizations are not only supported by a majority of Pakistani nationals but also by Pakistan Govt. Today it was reported in that President Zardari has sought international support against terrorism and has said that “Terrorism is more serious than Recession”, well that seems to be very welcoming to hear, but if one looks at the ground realities, the actions and words of the Pakistan Govt are directionally opposite. Why else will you see Swat deal signed? Why else will you see the Red Mosque Cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz being release,

  34. alam says:
    April 19th, 2009 6:51 am

    Drone attacks should continue as long as Pakistan is unable to establish its writ in tribal areas + Malakand Division. If Taliban Shura operates from Quetta, then Quetta should also be surgically targeted.

    Pakistan should forget that if they withdraw from some region, external forces would turn away from that region.

  35. April 19th, 2009 10:00 am

    What is the logic behind stoping drone strikes. These are targetted attacks. The intel behind them is established by the US and Pakistan. Every report about the drone strikes carried by Dawn and other papers mentions the number of alqaeda and taliban killed. I am not getting the problem.

    The aerial attack is the only thing the taliban have no defence against. That is what irks them and their sympathizers. And they are very effective. The alqaeda are getting hit without warning from the air. Troops on the ground are always going to be walking into ambushes when every second kid with a cell phone is a taliban scout. The british quelled the rebellions by using airpower. The small airfields in NWFP and FATA are from that era. And then as now the only way to control this is to use air power and force these people into a collective responsibility regime.

    The recruitment will go on just as aggressively even if the drone attacks were to stop. To the average talib prospect, anyone against the taliban is a kafir. That includes the Pakistan army, and even includes their fellow tribesman in the army or levies/police. There can be no appeasement or letup.

  36. Raheel says:
    April 19th, 2009 10:30 am

    The logic behind stopping the drone attacks is very simple. THEY ARE NOT WORKING.

    Has militancy stopped because of them? How many real militant leaders have been killed? How many civilians? What is being achieved?

    It is not working to stop militancy or terrorism and is only making the Taliban more strong. They use the drones as a recruiting tool and ordinary Pakistanis end up being unable to criticize Taliban because they seem to be only ones fighting the American attacks. If you stop the drones the effect is that you rob the Taliban of their biggest argument. SO THE LOGIC OF STOPPING DRONE ATTACKS IS THAT IT WILL WEAKEN THE TALIBAN AND THEIR SUPPORT IN PAKISTAN.

  37. Nadeem Chaudhry says:
    April 19th, 2009 1:27 pm

    To The Drone Sender’s:
    Please send a drone to the Red Mosque where the illicit product of a sex act resides…..and yes I mean Abdul Aziz! and while you guys ae at it please send 2 more…one to the President’s House and another to the Supreme Court. What’s another half a billion dollars….consider the savings you will have cutting out the Mr. 10%(s)

  38. X-Pakistani says:
    April 19th, 2009 2:17 pm

    Good idea Mr. Nadeem, Drone attacks should go to Red Mosque mullahs, President house and Supreme Court, it can save us lots of money and time. ATP should start a new poll:

    A. Most likely, Mullah talibans kicking every liberal/educated ass in Pakistan.
    B. Most likely, Zardaari and Sharifs will grow 10″ beards.
    C. “Musharraf was not so bad after all…..oops …. what have we done?”

  39. Bloody Civilian says:
    April 19th, 2009 3:48 pm


    Baitullah Mehsud said that there will be weekly suicide attacks in Pakistan in retaliation to the Drone attacks.

    If there are people in Pakistan who will support such people and overlook their killing Pakistanis in because the Drones kill about a 10th as many (including non-Pakistanis), then these people have a very sick view of the value of Pakistani lives, of patriotism, sovereignty and of religion.

  40. Collateraldamage says:
    April 19th, 2009 10:45 pm

    Collateral damage is nice word generally used to describe the innocent people killed/injured while carrying out a military attack/strike in a CIVILIAN population. Because of the nature of gorilla warfare it is an unavoidable consequence.

    Why don’t UN/US give sufficient military aid to comb the entire area of AQ. While doing this, they should also modernize and establish the region. Three phase solution would be to: First comb and neutralize the region by disarming. Which will require the greatest will; Second, re-arm according to Pakistani constitution (like a pistol for self defence) to those who desperately want that; Third, establish strict governmental control along with a local industry which particularly suits the region and employ (with training) as much youth as possible.

    To me FATA has always been a foreign land. But I still think it can be re-constructed via a green field approach (assuming no infrastructure).

    Critical thinking and solutions are generally absent from all these analysis. We need practical solutions..

  41. Umar Shah says:
    April 21st, 2009 3:39 am

    The 5% population these bearded bearers of moral responsibility represent always comes out on the streets because they have a common platform. It’s never the cause, its the ability to mobilise a crowd that this platform provides them. The question remains, what common platform can the 95% normal population of Pakistan find so that they too can come out on the streets and quieten these mobsters once and for all. If these religioulous people really cared about the innocent Pakistani populace, would they attack them when they ran marathons wearing shorts, would they condemn the flogging of a 17 year old woman by demonic maulvis of Swat, would they do something to stop tarnishing Pakistan’s image when they stay silent on suicide bombings and beheadings of foreigners? Would they? This is a boondoggle for them, an extra-curricular activity, a post-mosque social gathering that lets them vent their frustrations. It makes them feel better about themselves. They don’t give a rat’s rear end about Pakistan.

  42. Salman says:
    April 21st, 2009 11:28 am

    This is not about moral judgement, but about a tactic that doesn’t work and has a cost that far exceeds the benefits even in the cold-blooded calculus of realpolitik.

    “Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent.”

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)