by Imran H. Khan
Little 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.
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.Views: 7595Share