Rawalpindi - March 17, 2011:
Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, strongly condemns the Predator Strike carried out today in North Waziristan Agency resulting into loss of innocent lives. It is highly regrettable that a jirga of peaceful citizens including elders of the area was carelessly and callously targeted with complete disregard to human life. In complete violation of human rights, such acts of violence take us away from our objective of elimination of terrorism. It is imperative to understand that this critical objective can not be sacrificed for temporary tactical gains. Security of people of Pakistan, in any case, stands above all.
Pakistan Army condoles with the families whose dear and near ones have been martyred in this senseless attack. Pakistan Army shares the grief of people of Waziristan. Troops on ground have been ordered to render all possible assistance to bereaved families.
Pakistan Army wishes to assure brave people of Waziristan that we shall do our best and utmost to protect their life, honour and dignity at all costs. Pakistan Army is fighting the terrorists and not its brethren in tribal areas.
Pakistan Army has already launched a protest in the strongest possible terms. It has been highlighted clearly that such aggression against people of Pakistan is unjustified and intolerable under any circumstances.
The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns today's drone attacks which have resulted in a large number of casualties. This is not only unacceptable but also a flagrant violation of all humanitarian rules and norms.
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed this strong condemnation to US Ambassador Cameron Munter and has demanded an apology and explanation.
Ambassador Hussain Haqqani has also been asked to make a similar strong demarche with the US State Department.
In pursuance of the directives of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, the US Ambassador, Mr. Cameron Munter was summoned to the Foreign Office today by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and a strong protest was made regarding yesterday's Drone attacks that caused many casualties.
Ambassador Munter was categorically conveyed that such strikes were not only "unacceptable" but also constituted "a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law". It was evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited. Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state. It was for the White House and the State Department to hold back those who have been trying to veer Pakistan-US relationship away from the track.
Ambassador Munter was also conveyed that under the current circumstances, Pakistan would not be able to participate in the Trilateral meeting between Afghanistan-Pakistan-US, proposed by the US in Brussels on 26 March 2011. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, was initially expected to participate in the Trilateral.
Ambassador Munter said that he understood clearly that this was not a proforma demarche. He will rush to Washington to convey Pakistan's message to the US Administration at the highest levels.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
"Absolutely, I am of the firm view that these condemnations that we heard last night are nothing but crocodile tears. "Thousands of innocent lives have been lost in the past but the military and civilian leadership looked the other way by making polite noises. So why this hypocrisy and strong words now?" asks former ISI and MI chief Gen Assad Durrani.
Durrani was speaking to The News at a time when tribal elders of Tank in North Waziristan announced three-day mourning against the killing of 44 civilian of Mahsud tribe in US drone strike on Thursday. "I agree with Chief of Waziristan Malik Nasrullah who is demanding of the US government to provide 'blood money' to the heirs of victims killed in the attack," said Durrani.
The News also received telephone calls from North Waziristan who claim that they got this correspondent's telephone number from a PTCL directory, to ask how the government justifies giving blood money to those killed by an American in Lahore but not a single rupee has been paid to those killed in Fata by the US drone strikes.
"Why this duplicity?" asked one Roshan Khan. "The Pakistan army and the ISI cut a bad deal with the Americans and have egg on their face. They have seen the strong reaction from Pakistanis and to cover up this bad deal they have come out with this 'unprecedented' statement also telling the civil leadership to follow up.
I also feel that there might have been a tactical understanding with the Americans on future drone strikes so quickly, given the rising temperatures on the streets", adds the former spy master, who has dealt with the Americans during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Only recently the military was publicly supportive of these drone strikes when General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj Gen Ghayur Mehmood stated in Miramshah that "most of those killed by the US drones were hardcore al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and a fairly large number of them were of foreign origin".
"Myths and rumours about US Predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it's a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners.
"Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements," he added. According to a report of the Islamabad-based Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC), as of 2011, more than 2,000 persons have been killed, and most of those deaths are of innocent civilians.
The CMC termed the CIA drone strikes as an "assassination campaign turning out to be revenge campaign", and showed that 2010 was the deadliest year ever of causalities resulting from drone attacks, with 134 strikes inflicting over 900 deaths.
According to former Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand, "the assessment that we have, from the people directly affected in the tribal area, is that 80% of these casualties are innocent people.
When DG ISPR Gen Athar Abbas was asked why now they were screaming 'bloody murder', when in the past thousands of innocent and unarmed civilians have been killed, he responded, "This was a clear cut strike against a civilian jirga and there is a difference between this and taking out terrorists."
Abbas's emotional tone suggested anger. He said that even in the past they have protested but this time it was very different from the past. "We have as yet not had a response from the Americans", he said.
The US Embassy says that like in the past they would not comment on the US drone attacks. When reminded that 40 civilians have been killed the spokesman said, "I know but our policy of not commenting remains the same."
Most Killed in Drone Attacks are Terrorists: GOC Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood
MIRAMSHAH: In a rather rare move, the Pakistan military for t he first time gave the official version of US drone attacks in the tribal region and said that most of those killed were hardcore Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and a fairly large number of them were of foreign origin.
General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood said in a briefing here: "Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it's a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners.
"Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements."
The Military's 7-Dvision's official paper on the attacks till Monday said that between 2007 and 2011 about 164 predator strikes had been carried out and over 964 terrorists had been killed.
Of those killed, 793 were locals and 171 foreigners, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Filipinos and Moroccans.
In 2007, one missile strike left one militant dead while the year 2010 was the deadliest when the attacks had left more than 423 terrorists dead.
In 2008, 23 drone strikes killed 152 militants, 12 of them were foreigners or affiliated with Al Qaeda.
In 2009, around 20 predator strikes were carried out, killing 179 militants, including 20 foreigners, and in the following year 423 militants, including 133 foreigners, were killed in 103 strikes.
In attacks till March 7 this year, 39 militants, including five foreigners, were killed.
Maj-Gen Ghayur, who is in-charge of troops in North Waziristan, admitted that the drone attacks had negative fallout, scaring the local population and causing their migration to other places.
Gen Ghayur said the drone attacks also had social and political repercussions and law-enforcement agencies often felt the heat.
About the cross-border movement of terrorists along the Pak-Afghan border, he said: "Well we have over 820 checkposts along the border to stop militant movement and there is strict vigilance, but unfrequented routes are an exception for which alternate means, including intelligence-sharing between coalition troops and the army, are in place."
U.S. Drone Strikes 2004 - 2011
The Year of the Drone
View all U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan in a larger map. Note: strikes reported after November 19, 2010 appear on page 2 of the Google map.
Click each pin to see the details of a reported strike. Red pin=2004-2007; Pink pin=2008; Dark blue pin=2009; (Green pin=Bush in 2009); Light blue pin=2010; Purple pin=2011
This research was last updated on March 16, 2011. For a full analysis of the repercussions and results of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, please click here for "The Year of the Drone," by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann, February 24, 2010 or click here for "The Hidden War," December 21, 2010.
Our study shows that the 233 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, including 20 in 2011, from 2004 to the present have killed approximately between 1,411 and 2,247 individuals, of whom around 1,134 to 1,810 were described as militants in reliable press accounts. Thus, the true non-militant fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 21 percent. In 2010, it was more like six percent.*
We have also constructed a map, based on the same reliable press accounts and publicly available maps, of the estimated location of each drone strike. Click each pin in the online version to see the details of a reported strike. And while we are not professional cartographers, and Google Maps is at times incomplete or imperfect, this map gives our best approximations of the locations and details of each reported drone strike since 2004.
This study carries a Creative Commons license, which permits re-use of New America content when proper attribution is provided. Please click here for conditions of use, and when citing please attribute to Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann's drones database at the New America Foundation.
|Deaths (low)|| Deaths (high) |
Estimated Militant Deaths from U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan 2004 - 2011
|Deaths (low)||Deaths (high)|
Estimated Militant Leader Deaths from US Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2011
Militant leaders killed2011
- February 20, 2011: Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, managed al-Qaeda's finances in Pakistan (AP)
Strikes by Target
|Baitullah Mehsud (not Taliban generally)||0||1||16||n/a||n/a||17|
Monday, January 03, 2011
According to data gathered by The News primarily from local and international news sources, 703 of those who were perished by the US drones between January 1 and December 31, 2010, were civilians, including women and children, while 481 others were commanders, fighters and activists of different militant groups. The drones hit three types of targets in the tribal belt - terrorists' compounds, houses sheltering terrorists and vehicles carrying terrorists.
Of the 124 drone strikes, the largest number - 53 (or 43 percent of the total drone attacks) - were directed at alleged terrorists' compounds, followed by 41 strikes (or 33 percent of the total attacks) targeting houses allegedly sheltering terrorists while the remaining 187 attacks (or 24 percent of the total strikes) were directed at vehicles which were allegedly carrying terrorists. As the velocity of the American drones has increased enormously under the Obama administration, they are now hitting their targets with precision.
As a matter of fact, despite a sharp increase in both the frequency and total number of casualties resulting from Predator strikes, civilian casualties have gone down compared with the figures of 2008 and 2009. But still, for each terrorist killed by the drones in 2010 in the Pakistani tribal areas, around two innocent civilians also had to die. Of the total 1124 persons killed in the 124 drone attacks, the largest number of people - 638 (or 54 percent of the total casualties) lost their lives when the US drones targeted alleged terrorists' compounds. The 359 persons (or 30 percent of the total casualties) were perished when the drones targeted houses allegedly sheltering terrorists while the remaining 187 persons (or 16 percent of the total casualties) got killed when the drones hit vehicles allegedly carrying terrorists. The majority of the drone attacks in 2010 took place in the Waziristan region administered by four powerful Taliban groups - the Mehsuds, Mullah Nazir, Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Haqqanis. Since 2006, the drone strikes focused on two regions: North Waziristan and South Waziristan.
Yet, over the past two years, there has been a dramatic shift in the location of the drone strikes. In 2009, 42 percent of the Predator attacks took place in North Waziristan and 51 percent in South Waziristan.
However, 83 percent of the total drone attacks in 2010 have targeted North Waziristan. Key Pakistani Taliban commanders Mullah Nazir and Waliur Rehman are based in South Waziristan; Jalaluddin Haqqani and Sirajuddin Haqqani in North Waziristan, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, al-Qaeda's chief operational commander Saif Al Adal and his Pakistani right hand Ilyas Kashmiri are based in North Waziristan; the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Ameer Commander Hakeemullah Mehsud is based in Arakzai Agency; and Faqir Mohammed is based in Bajaur Agency. All these factions of militants shelter al-Qaeda and various other anti-US terrorist groups.
However, 12 such militant groups remained the prime targets of the American Predator strikes in 2010, which included the fugitive leaders of al-Qaeda, the leaders of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the commander of the Islamic Jehad Group, Uzbekistan Islamic Movement, Turkistani Islamic Party, Islamic Army of Great Britain, Haqqani Militant Network, Lashkar-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Zail and Brigade 313.
According to group-wise break-up of the 481 militants killed in drone attacks in 2010, 127 belonged to the Haqqani militant network, 123 belonged to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, 38 belonged to al-Qaeda, 34 belonged to Lashkar-e-Islami, 31 belonged to Islamic Jehad Group, 27 were Afghan Taliban, 24 belonged to Turkistani, 19 belonged to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, 18 belonged to Islamic Army of Great Britain, 17 belonged to Uzbekistan Islamic Movement, 12 belonged to Lashkar-e-Zil and 11 belonged to the Brigade 313.
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