by Imran H. Khan

blastLittle did I know when I first posted this that there would be a number of drone strikes and suicide explosions immediately after wards. I know of no nation in the world that willfully allows another nation to attack and kill its citizens, specially when it has the resources to stop it. The current civil and military leadership of Pakistan needs to be held accountable for allowing Pakistani citizens to be killed, on a nearly daily basis, by its people. I had recorded  a talk show on US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan in April 2009. It discussed the anticipated change in the US policy brought about by the new Obama administration.  uav4tf3

The talk was triggered by a blog by Adil Najam on Pakistaniat. I am vociferously against the use of drones as weapons, for reasons too many to enumerate here.   As it turned out 2009 was by far the worst year for Pakistanis killed by US drones as well as their human equivalent, the suicide bombers. According to Human Security Project Report the number of Pakistanis killed by drones in 2009 alone is SEVEN HUNDRED. I had the opportunity to meet Imran Khan ( the cricketer/politican)  in my recent visit to Pakistan who informed me that 20,000 people have been killed by drone attacks. If these numbers are true, then US is committing a “My Lai every Month” in Pakistan. The only difference is that there are no photographers on the ground to capture the decimated bodies left behind after a hellfire missile explosion.  Unlike My Lai, there are no US service men with the conscience to bring the perpetrator of these crimes to the public notice. I am not sure what the real numbers are; most probably between the two figures. But this is an extraordinary large number of civilians to kill over a very large area with no accountability and no declaration of war. The fact of the matter is that there are no independant journalists allowed in the region. So anyone can come up with figures that are impossible to corroborate. These reports don’t mention people being injured and maimed in an area with little to no medical facilities.  The very fact that you have drones flying over you 24/7 creates a persistant psychological trauma for the people and children of the region.  This is essentially a collective punishment being inflicted on the people of Pakistan.

The unfortunate things is that the change in US policy have mostly been for the worst  since then. The only real shift has been by Pakistan Army in launching operations in South Waziristan. The video is self explanatory, hence this short blog.

One of the nice things in US is that the cable providers are forced to airing local programs created by the citizens of the town that they serve. This allows for the creation of grass root programming which neither the corporations not the government can control. Political Chowder and Policy Watch are two such programs that allowed such heretic ideas presented here to be aired in a number of affiliated public channels across the US. It is people like Joe Briggs who are the unsung heroes for saying what is the right thing, in a nation otherwise kept in the dark by the corporate run media.

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Comments

8 Responses to “Pakistanis are STILL Dying: For What? For Whom? Why?”

  1. Izaz Haque on March 7th, 2010 3:21 pm

    very nice, Imran.

    The people of the tribal areas continue to go through hell, no less a consequence of actions of their leaders, the US, and the Pakistani government.

    Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight either. People have to speak up for those than cannot speak for themselves. It’s great that someone is highlighting their plight.

    Regards, Izaz

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  2. Inam on March 10th, 2010 5:23 pm

    Very good. But the govt is heavily committed to so called US anti terrorism War. But in fact Israel through USA have nefarious designs of totally eliminating or rolling back nuclear capability of the only Muslim country – totally unacceptable to Israel. US war in Afghanistan has compelled our leaders to own it and term it as our own cause – utter nonsense. People are not aware of huge US Shamsi Base at Dalbandin Balochistan next to Chagai, our nuclear testing facility. Other motive for USA is to monopolize oil and other mineral riches of Balochistan, Afghanistan and central Asia, at the same time denying these to Russia and China in particular. India is a willing collaborator in this scheme. Through chicanery many Afghans,mostly non pathans, are pro India.

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    Imran Reply:

    The main point that I am making is that there is the right way to conduct a military action against the criminals in FATA, and then there is a criminal way to conduct it. Firing missiles into the houses of people from 10000 feet on a suspicion is a criminal way of conducting it.

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  3. Izaz Haque on March 24th, 2010 2:51 pm
  4. Mallick on March 29th, 2010 7:25 am

    It is unfortunate that innocent people are being killed on a daily bases but that is the price a society has to pay where people put religion above human beings and refuse to accept inevitable human evolution, which is bound to happen. people in that region are fighting against nature and trying to hold the time still which is impossible hence the loss of human lives. how hard it is to understand for a human being that mankind has to progress, it is ABSOLUTELY impossible to keep living in the 7th century and expect others (who have moved on and improved human conditions to prove the worthiness of human beings) to wait for them and even respect them for their stupid ideologies. Again it is unfortunate that it is happening on this planet.

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  5. imran on April 6th, 2010 2:34 pm

    Robert Fiske wrote this about the drones effecting Pakistanis psychology
    “..
    I am sitting in a modest downstairs apartment in the old British cantonment. A young Peshawar journalist sits beside me, talking in a subdued but angry way, as if someone is listening to us, about the pilotless American aircraft which now slaughter by the score – or the four score – along the Afghanistan border. “I was in Damadola when the drones came. They killed more than 80 teenagers – all students – and, yes they were learning the Koran, and the madrasah, the Islamic school, was run by a Taliban commander. But 80! Many of them came from Bajaur, which would be attacked later. Their parents came afterwards, all their mothers were there, but the bodies were in pieces. There were so many children, some as young as 12. We didn’t know how to fit them together.”

    The reporter – no name, of course, because he still has to work in Peshawar – was in part of the Bajaur tribal area, to cover negotiations between the government and the Taliban. “The drones stayed around for about half an hour, watching,” he says. “Then two Pakistani helicopter gunships came over. Later, the government said the helicopters did the attack. But it was the drones.”

    The drones – Predators and Reapers, or “Shadows”, as the Americans call them when they follow US troops into battle – have acquired mythical proportions in the minds of Pakistanis, a form of spaceship colonialism, imperialism from the sky, caught with literary brilliance by A H Khayal in the daily newspaper The Nation, when he asked where the drones come from: “The masses are piteously ignorant. They just don’t know that the drones are not material creatures. Actually, they are spiritual beings. They don’t need earthly runways for taking off… They live in outer space, beyond the international boundaries of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    “When they feel hungry, they swoop down and kill innocent Afghani women and children. They eat the corpses and fly back to their spacial residences for a siesta. When they again feel hungry, they again swoop down and kill another lot of innocent women and children. Having devoured the dead bodies, they fly back to their bedrooms in space. It has been going on and on like this for years.”

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  6. Imran on April 29th, 2010 6:13 pm

    US experts question the legality of Drone strikes in Pakistan.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/06-us-experts-raise-legal-questions-over-drone-strikes-rs-02

    David Glazier, a professor from Loyola law school in Los Angeles, California, warned that “any CIA personnel who participate in this armed conflict run the risk of being prosecuted under the national laws of the places where [the combat actions] take place.” CIA personnel, he said, could be guilty of war crimes

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