News24

Obama urged to end drone attacks

2012-11-07 17:09

Gurgaon - Pakistani cricketer turned politician Imran Khan said on Wednesday he hoped President Barack Obama would "give peace a chance" and stop US drone attacks now that he had been re-elected.

Khan, leader of the Pakistan Movement for Justice party (PTI), has campaigned for an end to US drone strikes against suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan's tribal areas, saying they result in civilian casualties.

"What Pakistan would be hoping for is a de-escalation of violence now in Afghanistan and the drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas," he told reporters where he was attending the India World Economic Forum.

Khan said that Obama's first term in office had been "very tough on Pakistan - an increase in drone attacks and a surge in Afghanistan and increased militancy in Pakistan as a result".

"Now he [Obama] is no longer under the pressure to be re-elected we hope that he will give peace a chance which we so desperately need," he said.

Khan argues that drone strikes are illegal and counterproductive and last month led thousands of supporters - and some US peace activists - on a march to the edge of Pakistan's restive tribal districts to protest against them.

Thousands killed

The Pakistani politician said he wanted Obama to call a ceasefire in Afghanistan, saying that if Americans do not "get it right it is conceivable that they will leave it in a bigger mess than they found it".

The White House has said that Washington will gradually hand over security responsibility to the Afghans and eventually withdraw US troops. The US-led Nato force plans to pull out its 100 000 troops by the end of 2014.

Islamist militants have killed thousands of people in Pakistan since 2007, and US officials say the drone strikes are a key weapon in the war on terror.

But peace campaigners condemn them as a breach of international law. Pakistanis call them a violation of sovereignty that breeds extremism, and politicians including Khan say the government is complicit in killing its own people.

Casualty figures are difficult to obtain, but a report commissioned by legal lobby group Reprieve estimated last month that 474 to 881 civilians were among 2 562 to 3 325 people killed by drones in Pakistan between June 2004 and September 2012.

Comments
  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-11-07 17:28

    I dont think so? The Land of "Drones R Us" would rather use the unmanned method than the troops on the Ground method.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-11-08 06:12

      . Go after these terrorists, and blow their 'brains' out, but I agree with Imran Kahn, STOP these drone attacks ! The civilian casulties is far too high and totally unacceptable !! .

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-11-08 09:08

      Drones are a concern but the Pakistani Govt wmust also stop funneling funds to Taliban and insurgent forces which are donated by the US to fight these clowns as well as stop conceding territory to them . Using its intellegience services to help Taliban leaders recieve medical treatment in Karachi , ISI involvement in the deaths of journalists like Syed Saleem Shahzad . "Pakistan’s continuing engagement with the production and export of Islamist extremism and terrorism continued to produce a bloody blowback at home, with a total of at least 6,142 persons, including of 2,797 militants, 2,580 civilians and 765 Security Forces (SFs) personnel killed in 2011. However, even this worrying total constituted an improvement of 17.75 per cent over the preceding year. 7,435 persons, including 5,170 militants, 1,796 civilians and 469 SF personnel, had been killed in 2010. " Sapt -Pakistan Accessment 2012 Lets not forget where Osama was found conducting his affairs . Pakistan seems to have a foot in each camp .

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-07 23:05

    Obama basks in the glory of hero president while drones continue to wipe out civilians that just don't matter to the powerful in the western world. Even Obama’s daughters love the predator drones!

      raymond.dick.12 - 2012-11-07 23:58

      You are an Ar##hole.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-08 00:30

      Sticks and stones!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-11-08 04:34

      . This Fidel, is just imcaoable to make just only one comment, which just not drip of HATRED!!!! That's her hallmark; ----HATRED----RACISM and FILTH----

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-08 07:30

      @Anthony "This Fidel, is just imcaoable to make just only one comment, which just not drip of HATRED!!!!" That's her hallmark; ----HATRED----RACISM and FILTH---- xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx "imcaoable", is this baby talk?

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-08 09:52

    You'd think the Americans would have learned from bombing the $h1t out of people in indo-China that such behaviour is ultimately self defeating. But no, in Pakistan right now they're not just blowing people to bits with drones, they're targeting those coming to the aid of the victims and even their funerals. As clear a war crime as ever there was. http://www.salon.com/2012/02/05/u_s_drones_targeting_rescuers_and_mourners/singleton/ When it comes to Pakistan, the US government seems totally oblivious to the moral consequences of its actions. It's however the Pakistani government's fault that they give the CIA so much freedom of activity in their own country.

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