C.I.A Authorized to Expand Drone Strikes, Balochistan on the hit list

If this NYTimes article is to be believed, then it seems that American predator drones could soon be making their way to Balochistan.

The White House has authorized an expansion of the C.I.A.’s drone program in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, officials said this week, to parallel the president’s decision,announced Tuesday, to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. American officials are talking with Pakistan about the possibility of striking in Baluchistan for the first time — a controversial move since it is outside the tribal areas — because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to hide.

This is just unacceptable, the Americans are directly challenging Pakistan’s sovereignty. If the US has any evidence regarding the presence of any Taliban leader, they should provide it to Pakistan. The US has time and again mentioned about the presence of the ‘taliban shura’ in Quetta– without any evidence. Drone strikes cause more collateral damage, instead of striking the real targets, innocent civilians are killed. PM Gilani is right when he says that drone attacks are ‘counterproductive‘.

Would President Obama or the American people like ‘Pakistani drones’ bombing  US territory ? Definitely No. Pakistan has the capability to shoot down drones, and we should use this capability. No one wants to  escalate hostilites, but there should be no compromise on the integrity and the sovereignty of a country.

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Roedad Khan > Forgotten lessons of history (SWA Operation)

Former federal secretary, Roedad Khan, discusses his views on the South Waziristan operation,  and why he believes that this war cannot be won through military power. A must read. Some of the main points from the article:

  • When the British left, Pakistan had reason to be glad that it had inherited a secure North West Frontier. In September 1947, Mr. Jinnah took a bold decision to reverse the “pacification” policy, withdrew regular troops from Waziristan and entered into new agreements with the tribes. Cunningham, the new governor of NWFP, appointed by Mr Jinnah was a Frontier expert. His disillusion with the “pacification” policy was complete. “I think that we must now face a complete change of policy. Razmak has been occupied by regular troops for nearly 25 years. Wana for a few years less. The occupation of Waziristan has been a failure. It has not achieved peace or any appreciable economic development. It ties up an unreasonably large number of troops, and for the last 10 years there have been frequent major and minor offenses against the troops.” The change in policy produced dramatic results and paid rich dividends.
  • We have stumbled into a war that we cannot fight and win for the simple reason that we don’t seem to realize what guerrilla war is like. We are sending conventional troops to do an unconventional job. I can foresee a perilous voyage. The war in Waziristan cannot be won because it is perceived as the white man’s war. It could be won only if perceived by the powerful tribes as Pakistan’s own war. That, unfortunately, is not how they perceive this war. The conflict will, no doubt, be long and protracted. We will suffer more because not even a great power can beat guerrillas. The enemy cannot be seen: he is indigenous to the country. My fear is that we will get bogged down.
  • War against our own people is too terrible a thing to resort to. Many questions spring to mind. Was the decision to go to war determined by the absence of other viable options? Why was it not debated in parliament? Why deploy military means in pursuit of an indeterminate and primarily political end? Was there a geopolitical imperative to resort to war in Waziristan? Aren’t we Pakistanising the American war on our soil?Read the full article here

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