Friday, March 9, 2012

CIA Drone Strikes Kill 13 in South Waziristan | Pakistan

This morning CIA drone strikes killed 13 in the Miramshah and Mir Ali areas of Pakistan's tribal agency of South Waziristan. The strikes broke a two-week-long lull in US attacks.

Last month Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said.
"Drones are not only completely illegal and unlawful and have no authorization to be used within the domains of international law but even more importantly, they are counter-productive to the objective of getting this region rid of militancy, and terrorism and extremism."

In November 2011, following a US attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers the Government of Pakistan shut down US/NATO supply lines for the war in Afghanistan and demanded that the CIA vacate a drone base on its territory. The government also boycotted the Bonn II gathering.

On Tuesday(6 March) the Nation (Pakistan) published an article about the US desire for the unconditional resumption of NATO supplies.

US Ambassador Cameron Munter, following meetings in Washington DC briefed colleagues on the "state of frustration prevailing in the US over the delay in Pakistan’s parliamentary review of bilateral relations that remain in tatters since Nato’s November 26 attacks on Salalah security posts. Sources said that Ambassador Munter would soon start meeting Pakistani leaders and officials in renewed US efforts seeking unconditional resumption of Nato supplies to Afghanistan."
We respect Pakistan’s sovereign right for parliamentary review process. We are patiently waiting as the US is committed for resumption of full spectrum relations with Pakistan”, Embassy spokesman Mark Stroh told The Nation.

He said the US and Pakistan in the meanwhile were keeping their diplomatic channels open.

The Obama administration has been confused and frustrated after Pakistan’s refusal to receive senior American officials for normalising relations with Pakistan.

Pakistan had refused to receive Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides and the administrator of the US Agency for International Development, Rajiv Shah on the plea that it was useless till completion of parliamentary review process.”

Additional Resources:

Nancy Murray's paper Are Drones Legal.
The paper was delivered at the forum Drones: The New Frontier of Warfare and Spying, held at Cambridge Friends Meetinghouse, February 29, 2012

More on drones here, Pakistan here.

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Afghanistan 101 is a blog of the American Friends Service Committee
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