Rahimullah Yusufzai: And the drone policy continues…

And the drone policy continues…
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Rahimullah Yusufzai

Pakistan abdicated its right to be taken seriously long ago when it first agreed to assist the US in fighting the Soviet occupying forces in Afghanistan, hosting, training and arming the Afghan mujahideen, and then did an about-turn in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to enable America to occupy the same country. Both decisions were made primarily at the behest of the US to advance the American agenda without calculating the consequences that such a policy would have for Pakistan. Pakistani society was radicalised due to the fallout of this policy and the consequences are now in evidence all over the country.

It is meaningless to indulge in a debate on whether the US is simply informing Pakistan, as Mr Gates disclosed about its drone attacks, and that too after the strikes have been made, or there is some kind of understanding between the two countries on the issue. In either scenario, the US doesn’t want a negative answer. Conveying the information about the missile strikes to Pakistan is considered good enough and apparently non-negotiable. If the US hasn’t already secured an understanding from the Pakistani government about the necessity of carrying out the drone attacks to target Al Qaeda figures, it could possibly do so by offering some carrots or by wielding the stick. Having given itself the right to launch pre-emptive attacks anywhere in the world to prevent harm to the US, superpower America is confident that it cannot be made accountable for its actions in our lopsided world where might is always right. Using this right, the US has attacked and occupied countries and bombed faraway places. it has gone too far in its revenge after 9/11 and created for itself a lot more enemies than it previously had.

In terms of airstrikes, Pakistan has suffered more US attacks than Syria, Yemen and Somalia for the simple reason that its tribal areas have been marked as a safe haven for Al Qaeda militants. All these countries are Islamic, just like Iraq and Afghanistan that are under US occupation, and this is a major reason for Muslims to complain that they are the real target of the US-led Western war against terror. It is true that some Al Qaeda operatives have been killed in the drone attacks and others are still hiding in the tribal areas or elsewhere in Pakistan, but the civilian casualties far outnumber of Al Qaeda militants eliminated and the outcome has been a further increase in anti-US sentiment. Still, the US is convinced that its policy is working as the drone strikes are considered an effective tool to hit Al Qaeda-linked militants and deny them safe havens in the tribal borderland. There is no realisation that this policy is destabilising Pakistan and making it increasingly difficult for its weak and directionless PPP-led coalition government to continue cooperating with the US.

Also, the missile strikes in Pakistani territory don’t seem to have lessened the resolve of the Afghan Taliban or weakened their resistance against the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. Instead, the resurgent Taliban have forced the US to send another 30,000 troops over and above the 75,000 foreign forces already in Afghanistan by opening new frontlines and spreading their presence to 72 percent of the Afghan territory as a recent report by a European think-tank observed. If the US and its allies with all their might and technology cannot defeat the largely resourceless and outnumbered Taliban in Afghanistan, where questions of sovereignty have long been put to rest, how is it possible for America to destroy Al Qaeda and its allied Taliban and jihadi groups through occasional drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas? Killing a few Al Qaeda operatives or Pakistani and Afghan militants once in a while may provide a sense of achievement to the US military but it cannot be part of a successful long-term policy to combat militancy and extremism. Militant groups such as Al Qaeda and Taliban have a remarkable capacity to replace fallen comrades and attract new recruits, more so since the cause has a religious dimension. The motivation is to liberate your homeland from foreigners and the enemy is America. (The News)

The writer is resident editor of The News in Peshawar. Email: rahimyusufzai@yahoo.com Ghost Of TK Says:
January 31st, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Why is it that the “Violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by American Drones” is WORSE than the “Violation of Pakistan’s Sovereignty by Taliban Drones”

Why do those who bemoan the US drone attacks overlook the breaches of Pakistani State’s sovereignty by Talib Faggots?

P.S. US Drone violations can be technically fixed by two things:

1. Acquisition of said drones by Pakistan clandestine services.
2. Sharing of intelligence.

But, How shall we stop the Talib Faggots from trampling all over Pakistan’s sovereignty?

Are the Talibs and the US Drone Masters NOT morally equivalent? or shall we say equally morally depraved?

Muhammad Usman Says:
January 31st, 2009

Crush talibans with full force, zero tolerance.
This menace has to go.

Some A hOLES WERE praising changez khan when he entered baghdad, he slaughtered them first.

Why dont these taliban sympathizer understand , ther throats will cut first, if god forbid, these evil people advance.

gditpp Says:
January 31st, 2009


P.S. US Drone violations can be technically fixed by two things:

1. Acquisition of said drones by Pakistan clandestine services.
2. Sharing of intelligence.

Good suggestion.

But Who TF in the first place trusts Pak Army and its secret services. Wernt they hunting with the hound and running with hare all through the Mush era. Drones attacks started when the US finally got the wind of our double faced strategy of trying to appear controlling the fire while actually fanning it clandetinely. Simulateous and mutually oppossing actions of ISI’s overt and covert wings with the knowledge of GHQ have led us to the compromisg position that we find ourselves in today.

Here Dr Manzur Ejaz explains our dilemma:

When it comes to dealing with the Taliban and the US, the people of Pakistan seem to have a schizophrenic mindset. The average Pakistani rejects the Taliban’s interpretation of Islam but does not approve of the US strikes on them. He dislikes US influence but praises the rulers who can get more economic aid from Washington. He knows that Pakistan’s security forces have not succeeded in halting the Taliban advance so that in many areas the state has no writ; and yet he does not want the US to violate the country’s ‘sovereignty’.

Unfortunately, such self-contradiction is not limited to lay masses. The most powerful institutions of the state are either afflicted with the same malaise or have chosen to encourage a mindset prone to it.


Muhammad Usman Says:
January 31st, 2009

how ,when and who will be able to have dialogue with Taliban and have peace in return?

ANP has done peace deals with these and in result asfand was attacked.

Yo did that in waziristan and you got more violence