During a meeting in Washington, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik asked the United States for drone technology stating that it would be used responsibly.
“If we are given drones, we will use them responsibly as we used the F-16s,” said Malik, as the US media reported on Sunday that Pakistan appeared to be changing its position on the strikes.
Malik told reporters he had conveyed Pakistan’s concerns over the drones to senior US officials, although he did not say if he asked them to stop the strikes.
Like Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, the interior minister also said that although Pakistan had no objection to using drones against militants, it disagreed with the method.
Opinion varies on drone strikes conducted by the US – where several agree that this is the only way to get rid of militancy, critics argue that this is a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and it should be the Pakistani military who should be conducting these operations instead.
In your opinion, should Pakistan be given drones to combat the terrorists in the tribal belt? Will the anger over foreign intervention cease if such attacks were conducted by our own military?
Would Pakistan be able to ensure no civilian deaths occur if it conducted these raids in those areas – and if so, how?
According to the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira’s statement on Monday, the Pakistani government has opposed the drone attacks since day one – however, this claim itself is contradictory, given the fact that our government has done nothing to stop them.
Although various official voices and some unofficial ones have been raised against these attacks conducted by the United States, fact remains, that Pakistan has taken no concrete step to unwind the drone program. Should Pakistan continue to remain silent then and let these missiles accomplish their mission or have we reached a point where some transparent decision needs to be made to appease the beleaguered masses?
And if the US is to continue these attacks, isn’t it about time that the Pakistani government acknowledged their consent blatantly to the public?