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Monday, August 27, 2012

US drone banditry

US drone banditry

The Frontier Post

August 24, 2012

As the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism has demanded of the United States to open itself up to independent probe into its use of drone strikes or let the United Nations do it, Pakistan too has served a strong demarche on it over its stepped up drone incursions into the Pakistani tribal territory, especially the North Waziristan Agency. Drone attacks were not acceptable in any case as these constituted not only a violation of the international laws but also an assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty, said a protest missive handed over to a US embassy official by the foreign office yesterday.But will the United States hearken to these protesting voices? You must be joking. Not even an outside chance.

For, America thinks for being the world’s sole superpower it is above every international norm, rule and law. The others it would want must abide by that international regime strictly but itself it would not. It strikes the odious notes of exceptionalism and expects all others to respect it as being an exceptional country and an exceptional people, not liable at all to any international laws and conventions or any international justice system whereas it expects the others to be duty-bound to follow them. Then why would it change its course when it finds its drone banditry so effective in perpetuating its adventurisms abroad without putting its own soldiers’ lives at any risk at all? Why would it care for the UN that it uses as its handmaiden or for Pakistan that it deems to be its enslaved colony? They may cry, but they will simply be crying in the wilderness. Not a leaf would flap in Washington.

Indeed, as the criticism of its drone banditry is increasingly escalating worldwide, it has put more punch in its thuggish adventurism. Not only President Barack Obama now personally approves the targets to be struck by the drones. He has also decreed that anyone in the vicinity of an intended target will be deemed a combatant, even if civilian, and hence liable to be slaughtered justifiably.So the warlords of the United States give a damn if the people killed in their drone attacks are real terrorists or innocent civilians. And indeed the data complied by human rights workers show a heavy toll being exacted on civilian lives in these barbaric drone assaults. Some terrorists may be killed. But many more massacred are innocent children, women and men having nothing to do with militancy or terrorism. Yet the American warlords are continuing with this savage carnage without any qualms.

The international laws stipulate that every effort must be made to arrest the criminals and bring them to justice. But they find it more convenient just to eliminate, no lesser for fear of the eliminated spilling the beans, if caught alive and brought to justice. After all, those on the kill list of the American warlords are the ones who were once their protégés and proxies.And it would not be any wrong to assume that with this drone adventurism at this point in time they are indeed pulling a fast one on Pakistan.

In their drone strikes on Eid days in North Waziristan Agency, they slaughtered some two dozens of people. And if the media reports are any guide, the slaughtered were all the people of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the militant commander holding in a peace accord with the Pakistan military. The American warlords’ game plan appears to be to alienate him with the Pakistani state and push him on towards the TTP fugitives now holed up in parts of the North Waziristan Agency and the bordering Afghan province of Kunar and Nuristan to the great grief of Pakistan. Whose proxies are these TTP fugitives is anybody’s guess.

The American warlords are thus at a very diabolical game. And the Islamabad establishment would be very foolish if it doesn’t expose their demoniac scheme to the world community. It must open up its tight lips and speak out the home truths at every available forum at home and abroad. Mere demarches wouldn’t do. Already, with their drone banditry they have turned a lot of our tribal compatriots against the Pakistani State. And with this drone adventurism over these days they are spawning troubles in our tribal areas that ultimately will prove very disastrous for our country and the nation.


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