Your letters: Projected effects of drone strikes
Paper Edition | Page: 8
It is pertinent to note that in a debate with President Barack Obama’s top adviser on Afghanistan and Pakistan Douglas Lute on July 28, Pakistan Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman called for an end to the CIA drone strikes ahead of an intelligence summit in Washington between the two countries. “We will seek an end to drone strikes and there will be no compromise on that,” she added.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has repeatedly pointed out that Pakistan would continue talks with the US over drone attacks.
However, intermittent attacks by US spy planes on tribal regions will have a drastic impact on the US’ activities in the region.
These strikes will undermine international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including any peace dialogues with Afghan militants, jeopardizing American interests, while foreign forces seek complete withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.
In this respect, US top officials, particularly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistan’s help not only in the peace process with the militants, but also for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario.
Nevertheless, the much awaited meeting between the spy masters of Pakistan and the US will be of greater significance at this critical juncture, when both the countries are trying to further minimize distrust between them.
In these terms, when meeting with his counterpart, Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence director general Lt-Gen. Zaheerul Islam will take a firm stand, especially on the drones’ issue, as he has full backing of the Pakistani government in this respect.
If, despite his talks with CIA director Gen. David Petraeus, predator strikes on the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of northwest Pakistan continue, these could create greater impediments to settling other issues between Pakistan and America.
Ultimately, drone attacks will disrupt US-Pakistan relations, perhaps even taking them to the point of no return.