At least five people were killed in a drone attack which took place in Kurram Agency, yesterday evening. The strike targeted a house in remote Ghuz Ghari village close to Pak Afghan border. Five bodies were recovered from the rubble which included a militant commander Abu Bakar Umar. The political administration has confirmed that the attack took place in Pakistan’s territory six kilometers from the Afghan border.
US drone attacks have been a critical issue because of their collateral damage in terms of innocent civilians and their properties. The previous two governments of Musharraf and PPP were under severe critique by the PML (N) and the religious parties. These governments were blamed for their tacit understanding with the US for drone attacks in FATA. PTI chairman Imran Khan held a peace march to Waziristan on 6th October, 2012 to highlight the fallouts of drone attacks on Pakistan. He also addressed a mammoth public meeting in Tank located along the border of South Waziristan. Later, in an interview with a CNN anchor, Becky Anderson, Khan told that these attacks were counterproductive and emphasized for a comprehensive dialogue to restore peace in Afghanistan.
The recent drone attack came in the wake of safe rescue operation by Pak Forces of Canadian couple and their children from the mobile party of terrorists. It was also followed by IED attack on Pak troops in Kurran Agency on Sunday where a Captain and three Jawaans embraced martyrdom. According to ISPR spokesman, these soldiers were a part of search operation for the handlers of rescued foreigners.
The PML (N) leadership in contrast of their earlier loud and vocal stance against the drone attacks have now greatly diluted for being in power. Ironically the interior minister Ahsan Iqbal made a controversial statement of joint operation in FATA during his recent visit to US, whereas the no hideouts of the militants exist there. In fact the fighters of militant groups in Afghanistan sneak over the border, taking advantage of porous nature of it. Prior to this controversy, the foreign minister Khwaja Asif opined about putting our own house in order which amounted to deliberately inviting a trouble on our doorsteps.
Pak-Afghan border will remain vulnerable till such time its thorough fencing is completed, on which work is on. On the other hand, the US forces and Afghan National Army are intentional not patrolling the border on Afghanistan side to check the presence and movement of militants and to restrict sneaking of terrorist in Pakistan’s territory. Moreover, the US is also not willing to back and facilitate the regional initiative for restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan. The military option has not been fruitful in the past 16 years. Former Afghan President Hamid Karazai allegation, that the US troops are supporting Daesh with logistics, finances and military hardware. This allegation are not farfetched because the record has shown that USA wants to sustain this war for many more years to come in order to keep this region destabilize for its strategic objectives. Pakistan, China and Russia have joined hands to contribute a political settlement of this never ending Afghan war, bringing all stake holders to the negotiation table. Hopefully, the US may realize that it cannot win this war by using the mighty military technologies and should draw a lesson from a humiliating defeat in Vietnam War. The sooner it decides to play a positive role, the better it would be for the whole world and particularly for this region.