Lahore: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf has noticed with great concern reports in the US media that Pakistani government has given a free run to the United States to conduct drone strikes on Pakistani territory. In a press release issued from the Central Media Cell, Lahore, the party expressed its deep consternation at the continuing drone strikes and the contemplated increase in them. “These strikes have not reduced militancy; in fact are a major stimulant to terrorism” said Chairman PTI Imran Khan. “This particular fact has even been pointed out by studies carried out Stanford and New York University law schools. Most neutral observers have also come to a similar conclusion.” He continued.
Imran Khan said that in the last eight years nearly 360 strikes have been carried out with a large proportion, over 300 during the tenure of the Obama Administration. A conservative estimate according to him is that nearly four thousand people have been killed including a large proportion of noncombatants, women and children. By one estimate over 200 of those killed are children. These bare statistics by themselves tell a story not only of tragedies for the people of FATA but why there has been a huge increase in militancy.
While commenting on continuing attacks on our troops and horrendous terrorist attacks in different cities, Imran Khan said that the perception that Pakistan is partner of the US in these tragic drone strikes has hugely contributed to it. He said that the US link has provided the militants with a Jihadi narrative where they have been able to paint this struggle as between Islam and infidels. “Unless we get out of this partnership with the United States, hard core nucleus of militancy will continue to use it as a motivational tool for preparing suicide bombers. It is the suicide bombers that have resulted in the tragedy of nearly forty thousand people being martyred in Pakistan”. Drone strikes he said are the single most visible manifestation of US aggression for the people of FATA and they must end.
Imran Khan also lambasted the Pakistani government for not standing up for the protection of its sovereignty and in fact becoming a willing partner in the carnage that is continuing to kill innocent men women and children in FATA. “This war and the tragedies that ensue as a result of it would never end if we do not dispassionately analyse the causes behind it” said Chairman PTI. The single most important factor in this militancy gaining strength are the drone strikes which remind people in FATA daily of Pakistan’s acquiescence in them, he continued.