Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
General News

Pakistan Demands Veto on Drone Strikes

By       Message Gareth Porter       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 8/18/11

Author 57415
Become a Fan
  (13 fans)
- Advertisement -

Pakistani civilian and military leaders are insisting on an effective veto over which targets U.S. drone strikes hit, according to well-informed Pakistani military sources.

The sources, who met with IPS on condition that they not be identified, said that such veto power over the conduct of the drone war is a central element in a new Pakistani demand for a formal government-to-government agreement on the terms under which the United States and Pakistan will cooperate against insurgents in Pakistan.

The basic government-to-government agreement now being demanded would be followed, the sources said, by more detailed agreements between U.S. and Pakistani military leaders and intelligence agencies.

The new Pakistani demand for equal say over drone strikes marks the culmination of a long evolution in the Pakistani military's attitude toward the drone war.

- Advertisement -

Initially supportive of strikes that were targeting Al-Qaeda leaders, senior Pakistani military leaders soon came to realize that the drone war carried serious risks for Pakistan's war against the Pakistani Taliban.

A key turning point in the attitude of the military was the unilateral U.S. decision to focus the drone war on those Pakistani insurgents who had already decided to make peace with the Pakistani government and who opposed the war being waged by Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban against the Pakistani military.

The Central Intelligence Agency was allowed to run the drone war almost completely unilaterally for years, according to former Pakistani military leaders and diplomats, and the Pakistani military has only mustered the political will to challenge the U.S. power to carry out drone strikes unilaterally in recent months.

- Advertisement -

Gen. Pervez Musharraf allowed the drone strikes from 2004 to 2007 in order to ensure political support from the George W. Bush administration, something Musharraf had been denied during the Bill Clinton administration, according to Shamshad Ahmad, who was Pakistan's foreign secretary and then ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 2002.

"Those were the days when we felt that we had to work with the Americans on Al-Qaeda," recalled Gen. Asad Durrani, a former director general of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI), in an interview with IPS.

The choice of targets "usually was done by the U.S. unilaterally," said Durrani. Two Pakistani generals confirmed that point in a separate interview with IPS.

The Musharraf regime even went so far as to provide cover for the drone strikes, repeatedly asserting after strikes that the explosions had been caused by the victims themselves making home-made bombs.

But that effort at transparent deception by the U.S. and Musharraf quickly fell apart when drone strikes were based on faulty intelligence and killed large numbers of civilians rather than Al- Qaeda leaders.

The worst such strike was an Oct. 30, 2006, drone attack on a madrassa in Chenagai village in Bajauer agency, which killed 82 people. Musharraf, who was primarily concerned with avoiding the charge of complicity in U.S. attacks on Pakistani targets, ordered the Pakistani military to take complete responsibility for the incident.

- Advertisement -

The spokesman for the Pakistani military claimed "confirmed intelligence reports that 70 to 80 militants were hiding in a madrassa used as a terrorist training facility" and said the Pakistani military had fired missiles at the madrassa.

But eyewitnesses in the village identified U.S. drones as the source of the attack and said all the victims were simply local students of the madrassa. Local people compiled a complete list of the names and ages of all 80 victims, showing that 25 of the dead had been aged seven to 15, which was published in the Lahore daily The News International.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Gareth Porter (born 18 June 1942, Independence, Kansas) is an American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst on U.S. foreign and military policy. A strong opponent of U.S. wars in Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, he has also (more...)
 

Gareth Porter Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks

How Mistress Helped Petraeus

From Military-Industrial Complex to Permanent War State

What Ken Burns Left Out of the Vietnam Story

Why Washington Clings to a Failed Middle East Strategy

Gates Conceals Real Story of "Gaming" Obama on Afghan War