Stories about war on terror

Pakistani reactions to breaking news (explained through cats)

When visiting US diplomats talk about Pakistan being a key ally in the War on terror. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When Imran Khan says he will block NATO supply routes. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Reality of trying to block Nato supplies… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. How security forces are seen when rumours emerge of an operation into North Waziristan ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  How the MQM is seen when they announce they are breaking a political alliance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  How the JI is seen battling over the ‘martyr’ controversy …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Each time the power tariff is raised by 50 paisa …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When there is a strike due to ‘namaloom afrad‘ ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  When a negative review of Waar is published ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  When a positive review of Waar is published …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When there’s a ...

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Munawar Hassan, our fallen soldiers and citizens ARE martyrs

Some time ago a small, market town in England called Wootten Bassett attracted national and international media attention. The town was granted Royal Patronage and even US President Obama appreciated their actions. The people of Watton Basset showed honour and respect to their dead soldiers, who were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whenever the bodies of British troops were brought to an air force base and they passed through this town, the townsfolk showed their respect with spontaneous gestures; businesses stopped, passersby lined the pavements, taking off their hats and standing in silence. The honouring of the fallen soldiers by the people of ...

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What do we owe Afghan refugees?

The Af-Pak situation is a much detested thorn in the side of American foreign policy, and understandably so. It is volatile and exceedingly complex. Foreign policy discourse is saturated with different viewpoints on how America can harness political and military potential. The ongoing debate is both crucial and relevant with the upcoming withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in 2014. What disturbs me, however, is one critical issue absent from grander schemes on how to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan – that of refugees. There remains little analysis of how top-level decisions affect those that flee over borders by the millions ...

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If Pakistan acquires drone technology from the US …

Regular militant attacks have now become a norm in Pakistan. The situation on the ground suggests that tracking and hunting militants is difficult, whereas for militants, carrying out their activities at will is easier. In terms of numbers, drones have killed more militants in FATA compared to on ground operations, but these drones do not conform with legal parameters set by the Pakistani constitution. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on drones and the need for the Pakistan government and the military to come out clean on the issue. On July 8, 2013, it was reported that the Pakistani government is considering ...

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Drones; enough said!

While doing some research on drone warfare, I came across a study conducted by the New York University and Stanford Law School that highlighted some controversial results of the CIA-funded drone military campaign in Pakistan. According to these findings, drones in Pakistan, used for the ‘targeted killing’ of extremist militants had a counterproductive role, which goes against the US proclamation that drones are a ‘surgically precise and effective tool’, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. The US government believes that its drone campaign is a surgical success that does not kill anyone except al Qaeda members and Taliban militants. Since ...

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The need to blacken the white paper

Silence on an issue as critical as drone strikes suggests some level of complicity. But mouthing off about shooting drones down, about how ‘America would have never dared to use drones on our soil had the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf been in power’ is political hogwash. These statements hope to feed sanctimonious outrage among supporters and breed a feeling of hopelessness and resentment towards the US. These tactics have never achieved anything in the past and are not likely to end drone strikes either. Earlier this year, the US Department of Justice was asked to provide the Congress legal justification for drone strikes. ...

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President Obama’s speech and the continuation of drone strikes

President Obama delivered his much anticipated speech on counter-terrorism at the National Defense University, at Fort McNair in Washington, on Thursday. In the days before the address the focus was mainly expected to be policies governing drone attacks. According to White House officials, the speech would particularly give procedural details explaining the process leading up to decisions to use drones in counter-terrorism. It was also said that the remarks would outline, in detail, this administration’s counter-terrorism policies. Pakistan has had a long and violent relationship with American drones since 2004, the fifth year under the presidency of Pervez Musharraf. According to ...

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Iraq 10 years on: Blair and Bush have blood on their hands

When former British Prime Minister Tony Blair proudly proclaimed on BBC News that he had “no regrets” about the war in Iraq 10 years on, I was so disgusted, I had to switch the television off and try to calm myself down. In these 10 years, over 600,000 civilians have been killed, a civil war ensues and no so-called weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were ever found. I must highlight that people died on both sides. Despite whatever opinion we may have of US troops, 4,488 American soldiers and marines were killed and thousands were left with severe disabilities in ...

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Drone strikes kill real people; here are the ones I know

Yesterday, Senator Lindsay Graham, made the following remark: “We’ve killed 4,700.” “Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we’re at war, and we’ve taken out some very senior members of al Qaeda.” And in this swift statement, all the damage caused and all the lives destroyed by drone strikes have been justified – just because Senator Lindsay “hates” it. A huge number of civilian victims of the US drone attacks in Waziristan still remain silhouettes to euphemisms like ‘collateral damage’. Their voices are muted under the constant humming of US drones circling their villages causing constant fear and immense psychological damage. They are ...

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CIA playbook: A sour attempt at legalising terror via drones

With John O Brennan’s brainchild, the ‘play book’, almost ready for the president to sign and the leak of the Justice Department’s document explaining the legal rationale for the killing of American citizens who join al Qaeda, the drone debate is a hot topic once again. But for all the wrong reasons. A brief introduction to the playbook would be that it sets rules regarding the clandestine drone operations of CIA around the world, a vague attempt at legalising the attacks and ‘minimising’ them to an extent. Something like this needed to be done by the US government as it ...

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