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Drone Strikes Continue To Fuel Anti-US Sentiment In Pakistan

Drone Strikes Continue To Fuel Anti-US Sentiment In Pakistan

Jason Ditz

US Claims Massive ‘Militant’ Deaths and Almost No Civilian Casualties

The CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, something which has become an enormous issue over the past year and a half, have been an enormous source of controversy, both legal and practical.

The US, for its part, maintains that the drone strikes have caused no more than 30 civilian casualties, while killing over 500 militants. The claims seem common among US officials, in keeping with the narrative of precision drone strikes.

But they are tough to swallow for children killed and maimed in the almost constant bombardment. And for villagers the claims that friends and relatives are “suspected militants” are tough to reconcile with reality, as are the claims of US precision.

They also don’t jibe with figures from Pakistan’s own intelligence agencies, which estimate that the US actually killed 700 civilians in 2009 alone, while killing only a handful of confirmed militants. The number of civilians wounded in all these attacks is unknown, but significant.

It is unsurprising, then, that the strikes continue to inflame anti-US sentiment across Pakistan, and US claims that the victims are almost universally “militants” is likely only making matters worse, in the face of enormous evidence to the contrary.

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US behind attacks on Pakistani civilians: Ex-ISI chief

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment

PressTv

Former ISI chief Asad Durrani says private US contractors such as Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) and other intelligence agents may be behind the assassination of civilians across Pakistan.

Former ISI chief Asad Durrani

In an exclusive interview with Press TV, Durrani said on Friday that the local militants led by Hakimullah Mehsud primarily target the government and military instillations.

Arguing against the local militants involvements in civilian assassinations, Durrani added that the militants consider Islamabad as a close ally of the US in the so-called ‘war on terror’ and that they have been launching retaliatory attacks against the government targets, particularly since the Pakistani army launched a major offensive against their stronghold in South Waziristan.

Durrani said that he doubted the notorious militants groups were behind a recent surge in attacks on civilian targets across the country.

The former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) claimed that certain theories were circulating among Pakistani intellectuals suggesting that the foreign agents or private US contractors could have been orchestrating assassinations on the civilian targets in the nuclear-armed country.

According to Durrani, these attacks were being carried out to encourage Islamabad to be more involved in war against the militants.

Pakistan has experienced a wave of violence over the past two years. Nearly 3,000 people have been killed in bomb attacks and other terrorist operations across the country.

Categories: Afghan War, Afghanistan, Article, Color Revolutions, Conspiracies, Crimes, Deception, defence, Economy, Editorial, Geo-Politics, History, Imperialism, Insurgencies, Intelligence Agencies, International Politics, International Relations, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Report, SiyasiPakistan, South Asia, Strategic Cooperation, TALIBAN, Terrorrism, U.S.A, War, War on Terror, World Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Qureshi: Pakistan will not tolerate US incursions

December 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Islamabad has said it will neither accept US-led operations on its soil nor extended CIA-operated drone attacks inside its territories.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi made the remarks during a briefing with lawmakers in Islamabad on Tuesday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

“We strongly believe that drone attacks were counterproductive and unhelpful in our joint efforts towards winning hearts and minds, which is essential to succeed against violent extremism”, Qureshi said.

The use of CIA-operated drones has increased since Barack Obama became US president. The Nobel Peace Laureate has repeatedly vowed to expand the controversial strikes that have raised anti-US sentiments across Pakistan.

Pakistani officials have opposed the expansion of drone attacks in the country’s tribal areas, as well as strikes on Balochistan, where the US claims Taliban leaders are hiding.

The developments come after US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said on Tuesday that the United States has members of its intelligence services in Pakistan, but it has no troops.

A former NATO officer earlier told the Guardian that American Special Forces conducted multiple illegal raids into Pakistan’s tribal areas, which were never declared to the Pakistani government.

On Sunday, thousands of demonstrators in Rawalpindi demanded that the Pakistani government keep a strict eye on Blackwater/Xe and other US security entities operating in the country.

Categories: Afghan War, Afghanistan, Article, Color Revolutions, Conspiracies, Crimes, Deception, Economy, Editorial, Geo-Politics, Imperialism, Insurgencies, Intelligence Agencies, International Politics, International Relations, Lies & Deception, NATO, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Report, SiyasiPakistan, South Asia, Strategic Cooperation, TALIBAN, Terrorrism, U.S.A, War, War on Terror, World Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,