Extrajudicial Killings through Drones

By Sajjad Shaukat

Under the pretext of American so-called counterinsurgency programme, the US President Barack Obama has broken all the record of human rights by extrajudicial killings of the innocent people through CIA-operated drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen in general and Pakistan in particular, while, the United States claims to be protector of human rights not only inside the country, but also all over the world.

Recently, the UN has opened probe regarding the predator strikes. In this regard, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism said, A UN investigation into targeted killings will examine legality of drone strikeswill investigate 25 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories. It will also focus on civilian killings by the strikes.

First time, a US Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of the predator attacks, openly admitted that 4,700 people have been killed by the raids of Americas secretive drone war. The number exceeds some independent estimates of the death toll. According to the research of London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between June 2004 and September 2012, these unmanned aerial vehicles killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians including 176 children. In this respect, in a report, The Guardian pointed out on August 11, 2011, The CIA claims that there has been not one non-combatant killed in the past yearit is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.

Nevertheless, details collected by the Pakistani journalists show that civilian casualties through unmanned aircraft are higher as indicated by the US officials. In the last four years, more than 900 innocent civilians and only 22 Al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by these aerial attacks.

While justifying these air strikes by the spy planes, counterterrorism advisor to Obama, John Brennan who faces a Senate confirmation hearing for his nominee as CIA director is the main player, advising Obama on which strike, he should approve.

Especially, during his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama had pledged to reverse excesses of the Bush era in relation to terrorism. He also promised to reformulate a counterterrorism policy in accordance with the legal and moral values of the US. Contrarily to his assertions, Obama followed the Bushs approach of counterterrorism in its worst form by expanding and accelerating the predator strikes.

In this context, The New York Time on May 26, 2011, in an article which was written with assistance of several counterterrorism advisers of the administration revealed, President Obama has become personally involved in the process and has normalised extrajudicial killings from the Oval Office, taking advantage of Americas temporary advantage in drone technology. Without the scrutiny of the legislature and the courts, and outside the public eye, Obama is authorising murder on a weekly basis.

Notably, American constitution explicitly grants the right to declare war to the Congress so as to restrain the president from chasing enemies around the world, based solely on his authority as commander-in-chief by waging a secret war. But instead of capturing militants alive and to avoid giving the right of due process of law to them in a court, President Obama has openly been acting upon a ruthless policy of targeting killings by supervising the CIA-controlled drone warfare.

Besides, a report of the New America Foundation disclosed that President Obama has authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms. The report explained, When the US drones attack Pakistans tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, these killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistanwhile killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?

Based on research, a report, Living Under Drones, prepared by experts from Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law disclosed that the US campaign of drone strikes in Pakistans northwestern tribal belt is terrorising civilians 24 hours a day and breeding bitter anti-American sentimenthave killed thousands of peopleeven stopping their children going to school for fear of being targeted. The report urged Washington to rethink its drone strategy, arguing it was counterproductive and undermined international law.

Citing unnamed US officials, The Washington Post reported on January 21, this year, The Obama administration is completing a counterterrorism manual that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operationsthe guidebook would contain a major exemption for the CIAs campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan to continue striking Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan.

Defense Minister Leon Panetta has defended these attacks on Pakistans tribal areas under the pretext of North Waziristan-based Haqqani militants whom they blamed for several assaults on American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. On the other hand, US-led coalition forces have failed in stopping incursions of heavily-armed insurgents in Pakistan from Afghanistans side, who have killed more than 100 personnel of the Pakistans security forces in the last two year, while targeting the infrastructure of the areas. In fact, US seeks to make North Waziristan, a scapegoat of NATOs defeat in Afghanistan by continuing illegal mass murder of the innocent people through drones.

It is notable that Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam who visited America in August, 2012, emphatically told the then CIA Director David Petraeus that predator strikes which are violation of Pakistans sovereignty must be stopped. He pointed out that these strikes are proving counterproductive, giving a greater incentive to the fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan, and are increasing anti-US sentiment among the people.

However, setting aside the parliament resolution, rallies and processions of Pakistans political and religious parties, and ignoring the new Pak-US rapprochement, without bothering for any internal backlash, these aerial attacks keep on going on FATA.

In fact, American such a duplicity contans a number of covert designs. The fresh wave of strikes by the pilotless aircraft has thwarted the offer of militants and Pakistani government for peace talks. And, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accelerated subversive activities in the country. Now, US wants to incite the Haqqani network as in the past 15 months, most of these strikes have targeted the North Waziristan. So, these aerial attacks are provoking the tribal people against Pakistans security forces, and increasing recruitment of insurgents. Another aim is to create a rift between Pakistans armed forces on one side and the political and religious parties on the other. Besides, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, US India and Israel are determined to destabilise it. Drone campaign is also part of this game.

The CIA-operated these strikes which continued on Pakistans tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama era. In one of the major drone attacks, more than 40 civilians and policemen were killed on March 18, 2011 in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. In the past few months, these unmanned aircraft killed more than 150 people, especially in North Waziristan including South Waziristan.

On the one side, US top officials have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistans help not only for peace process with the militants, but also for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario, while NATO troops have started transporting their equipments via Pakistani route as part of the exit strategy, but on the other, US spy planes on Pak tribal regions are undermining international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan including peace dialogue with the Afghan militants.

Recently, US ex-presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton have opposed Obamas faulty drone strategy. Even, new Secretary of State John Kerry has also criticised unabated use of unilateral drones in Pakistan, saying, US engagement with the world is not just about drones.

Besides, widespread criticism from some US allies and human rights groups which have remarked that these aerial attacks are illegal and unethical, and violation of the targeted countries sovereignty, the United Nations Charter, universal declaration of human rights and international law, but US warrior President Obama remains obstinate to continue extrajudicial killings through drones.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.


Nuclear Iran: A Headache or a Heal? – IV

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

by Sohail Parwaz

In my first column on this subject I wrote, “Interestingly, the issues on which the US, France, and the UK are making a hue and cry were once hatched and sponsored by them. How could one forget that it was the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who had signed the National Security Decision Memorandum that very generously laid out the niceties of the sale of nuclear energy equipment to Iran?” I still maintain my words that the baseless and bogus logic given now by the US and the Western world are not acceptable to the world. I would insist upon my earlier saying why the logic given now did not strike the astute Americans at that time when, out of sheer sincerity and love, they were…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/current-affairs/73-nuclear-iran-a-headache-or-a-heal.html

Emergence of Communal Taliban

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

The culmination of WW–II gave birth to cold war which led to USSR Invasion and her ultimate disintegration. The dissolution of Soviet Union produced Taliban and Al- Qaeda. It is worth mentioning here that former President Bush invited their top brass at White House and addressed them as war lords. But after the couple of years these conquerors converted themselves into worst enemies of Washington. Now the Question arises that why US has stopped supporting her comrades just after disintegration of USSR? Would it be taken as a move of her planned strategy of getting strong control over Asian region in the absence of Taliban and promoting India as regional power against China? Or Americans never wanted to have another pure Islamic Afghan state under the supervision of Taliban and indirectly safeguarding Iranian Interests in the region and keeping Saudi Arabia in limbo. Any how restricting myself on the topic, let’s evaluate that in a very short span of the time, how Talbinization was promoted and encircled around the complete world. Taliban appeared on the scene as a result of Al-Qaeda.

USA via CIA originally backed the Islamic guerrilla against the Marxist regime and Soviet occupation…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/terrorism/70-emergence-of-communal-taliban.html

Foreign Hands in PAK Blasts Wave

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

Zaheerul Hassan

In July 02, 2009 a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle banged into a bus carrying employee of a sensitive defense department in Rawalpindi. The blast led to the killing of at least six people and 20 injured. It was a latest suicidal attack and would be taken as the continuity of series of on going suicidal attacks. The suicidal missions though are being under taken by the brain washed youth of the locals but actually mastermind behind them are being sponsored by RAW…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/terrorism/69-foreign-hands-in-pak-blasts-wave.html

Taliban and Jihad – what’s the thought? by Nadia Khan

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

What if we read Holy Quran and Hadiths of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) without the context of Jihad, there could be number of people, both in West & East, who would feel happier than before? Because they feel that the root cause of today’s crisis is Jihadi approach of radical Muslims. If radicals could give it up then the world would be much safer!

This argument for world’s peace looks…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/pakistani-politics/68-taliban-and-jihad-whats-the-thought.html

RAW’s Sponsored Taliban Suicidal Blasts

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

Zaheerul Hassan

During last few days numbers of foreign sponsored terrorists have been apprehended by intelligence agencies and police in the campaign against militancy. On 26 June, 2009 two terrorists including a female have fled away once Faisalabad police raided on a house located in Madina Town. The culprits left behind huge quantity of weapons and ammunitions. The government has already pointed out time to time that recovered arms and ammunitions in going drive are of US origin. Since last 24 hours according to a press release of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), four soldiers and a civilian embraced shahadat and 16 soldiers got injured in Swat, Muzaffrabad and North Waziristan Agency.

In Muzaffarabad, a suicide bomber exploded himself as the guard of Army Public tried to stop him entering into the school. In sabotage activity a military convoy…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/terrorism/66-raws-sponsored-taliban-suicidal-blasts.html

A dialogue – should we give up Jihad? by Nadia Khan

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

Nadia Khan

“Should we give up Jihad?” that was the question I had asked to one of my British colleague who was arguing over the World crisis especially in Iraq , Afghanistan , and now in bordering Pakistan.

Have you noticed, especially in Pakistan , “it is unsafe to travel – suicide attacks now in major cities, kidnapping, uncertainty, and killing. In some places, no one knows as how he is killed and for what? Like few cases in recent Swat military operation, there are reports that few innocents had been killed, including women and children, as they were not aware of imposing curfew in their area by Pakistan Army and hence were killed by sniper bullets” my colleague nodded and she was little unhappy with state of affairs in Pakistan and my wish to travel to Peshawar for visiting IDP camps.

Probably, the “root cause is the militant approach…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/pakistani-politics/65-a-dialogue-should-we-give-up-jihad.html

End of article

Editor’s Note:

This article does not comply fully with rule 5 of our Terms & Conditions. Therefore, we have a need here to clarify few points.

The west and its mass propaganda machine had somehow successfully portrait Pakistan and Islam as the main cause of evils in the world. They falsely target Islam and its principles for malicious uses. Otherwise, Jihad or any other Islamic teaching has no harm for the western style of living. Though, few narrow minded and less educated Muslim clerics end their journey of Ijtihad before their destination actually arrive. But crooks sitting in the western countries deliberately try to create disputes, thus conflicts to achieve their evil objectives. Therefore, this is neither Jihad nor any other Islamic practice but they by themselves are the problem.

The need is that we approach the common people of western countries directly and build bridges amongst the common people of the whole world, while knocking off the culprits and criminals. Who had successfully fixed themselves on key positions in almost all countries in the world.

Talibanization: It’s all about Gwadar Port & Transit Trade Route

Source: http://www.markthetruth.com

Khalid Khokhar

Do you think that Muslims were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on WTC that took 3,200 lives on American soils? If it so, then newspapers of 2001 carried different story, saying that all the pilots who collided their aircrafts with the New York building and Pentagon were from Arabs descent. According to US think tanks and research centers, some of the youth who underwent a regular training of flying with a view to carry out planned terrorism, were Arabs and remaining came from Egypt. They were all from affluent and highly educated families. It is also an established fact that there was not a single Afghan…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/current-affairs/64-talibanization-its-all-about-gwadar-port-a-transit-trade-route.html

Israeli & Indian Worries over Obama’s Shift

Source:  http://www.markthetruth.com

 Zaheerul Hassan

Mossad Controls US GovernmentUS President Barack Obama recently carried out visit of various Arab countries and tried to restore American image in the eyes of public by sparking against the Bush Policies towards Iran and Iraq. His major focus during the visit has been remained towards Palestine, Israel, Iraq and Iran. He showed a matured and sensible behaviour while facing the Arab media. During his visit almost negligible importance has been given to the Afghanistan. The trip on the other hand will help Obam’s administration in formulating…

Read full article at http://www.markthetruth.com/terrorism/62-israeli-a-indian-worries-over-obamas-shift.html

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