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Apathy on the Drone Strikes; US-Pak Respective Stances

By       Message Muhammad Irfan     Permalink
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State is a combination of certain relevant ingredients including sovereignty, territory, population, and leadership. Among the mentioned elements, territory and population serve as the basic podiums upon which the walls of a state can distinctly be constructed. Leadership determines a state's united, urbane, as well as organized composition, and serves as its vanguard political entity. Notably, sovereignty is an exclusive dynamic that ultimately defines whether other states respect him as a self-seeking state. If the dominant power undertakes an offensive against a state, the targeted state appears taciturn upon the aggression, the target state deserves to lose sovereignty and become pre-eminent power's suzerain.

John Kerry visited Islamabad on July 1, 2013, to discuss the relevant strategic issues with Islamabad and to emphasize on the recommencement of the strategic dialogues. The jaunt by Kerry apparently directed the apathetic diplomatic interaction between the two states towards new hopes and expectations. Nonetheless, these expectations are likely to come true only when the established barriers, triggering misperception, are expunged. The Times of India has rationally termed that Kerry landed in Islamabad for an unannounced visit, aimed at tackling the restrained relations between Washington and Islamabad. According to it, the enthusiasm in the Pak-US diplomatic interaction is evidently restrained due to the drone attacks that CIA incessantly undertakes in FATA. [i]   Subsequently, the prime objective that Kerry covets to accomplish in his visit is to negotiate the matter of eliminating insurgency and stability in Afghanistan with the newly inducted Pakistani regime.  Kerry, expressing the cessation of drone operations, stated that the programme will end soon as we have eliminated the threat and continue to eliminate it. [ii]

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/50783993@N05/9367397161/: Drone in motion
Drone in motion by millstastic

Essentially, CIA has unremittingly launched drone strikes on FATA in pursuit of top Al-Qaida operatives. These strikes began in 2005 and last until the date. Accordingly, the said heinous attacks enumerate 277 incidents that have debarred 2548 peoples from existence and sprayed 301 residents with serious injuries. [iii] Nobody can gauge how many Al-Qaida figures were killed and how many innocents were slaughtered.

Parallely, Pakistani foreign office in wake of drone attack occurred on July 28, 2013, stated, "The unilateral drone strikes are the violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity." Ironically speaking, if policy-making junta in Islamabad is cognizant of the fact that the drones dauntlessly violate Pakistani sovereignty, then it is irrational attitude that Pakistani establishment opts because rational state actor remains realistic in defending the national territory and is enthusiastic in ensuring the national interests. Sovereignty ranks among the most prominent national interests.

Amazingly, Pakistani regimes have been reiterating the same unproductive statements that drone attacks are the violation of sovereignty. Nonetheless, they seem yielding in letting it occur persistently. In fact, this attitude Pakistani king of arms perpetrate due to their economic compulsions. Islamabad is acquisitive to take financial aides from the US and the international financial institutions such as IMF and World Bank. Hence, Islamabad cannot be resolute to take a decisive and unyielding stance on the cessation of the drone attacks. The Islamabad-based officials also propagate that the drone devices and the massive usage as a targeting weapon is counterproductive in context of terrorism. In spite of familiarity to the reality, the Pakistani stand is faltering, which cannot be applauded.

Significantly, the American viewpoint is unwavering to continue the UACV (Unmanned Ariel Combat Vehicle) operations on the Pakistani soil. Kerry hinted in his address to continue the drone attacks until the threat in form of Al-Qaida is erased. This stance is illogical particular on the part of US when it propagates and promotes human rights throughout the world. Clinging with the above-mentioned decision (continuity of drone attacks) depicts duplicity that Washington embarks on and paves way to lose credibility of what it promotes in context of human rights as well as discouraging interference and aggression in the other countries internal affairs.

This position (keeping the strikes on and on) will also derail US-Pak relations towards impasse. it is imperative to note that friendly US-PAK relations are equally pivotal for US. If Washington tends to be punitive towards Al-Qaida, it should provide the demanded drone technology to Pakistan, which appears cooperative in eliminating terrorism from its own soil. Finally, Washington and Islamabad should jointly work on the aforesaid issue that decimates not only the friendly environment between the two states but also is a blow to the civilian lives that further harvests counter-productivity in the subject of terrorism.  

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[ii] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-31/kerry-in-pakistan-seeking-fresh-start-with-a-new-leader.html

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The Author is a junior scholar and researcher. He has presented his papers in several national and international conferences. He is also a freelance columnist and contributes to both national and international print media.

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