US pub­lic rise against drones

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

AS

the United States is per­sist­ing with its provoca­tive pol­icy of drone strikes, peace ac­tivists in the US are start­ing a month of protests this week to mo­bi­lize Amer­i­can pub­lic opin­ion against drone at­tacks. The or­ga­niz­ers say they plan to ‘shock peo­ple’into ac­tion against the un­manned air­craft and dur­ing protests they would tar­get mil­i­tary bases, univer­si­ties and com­pa­nies in­volved in the drone war­fare.

There is ab­so­lutely no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion or logic for drone strikes that not only con­sti­tute vi­o­la­tion of sovereignty of other coun­tries in­clud­ing Pak­istan but also re­sult in hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions and huge col­lat­eral dam­age. The plan for month-long protests in Washington DC, At­lanta, Philadel­phia, Honolulu, San Fran­cisco, Sacra­mento, Min­neapo­lis, Des Moines and other states would surely help raise aware­ness against drones that are be­ing used by the United States as the main weapon dur­ing so-called war on ter­ror. It is strange that a coun­try that claims to be cham­pion of the hu­man rights should it­self breach sovereignty of other coun­tries and kill in­no­cent peo­ple. There is also an­other as­pect of the is­sue – ev­ery drone strike trig­gers more re­sent­ment, vi­o­lence and anti-Amer­i­can­ism. The UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil is al­ready in­ves­ti­gat­ing the is­sue and hopefully its report would sen­si­tize the in­ter­na­tional pub­lic opin­ion against such at­tacks. We also be­lieve that Pak­istan might not be col­lud­ing with the United States on this ac­count yet the fact re­mains that it has also not taken up the is­sue in right earnest with other mem­bers of the global com­mu­nity and at the rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional fora. At a time, when the United States and its al­lies are plan­ning to leave the re­gion next year, Washington should re­view the pol­icy with­out los­ing fur­ther time as it pro­duces more ill-will than ad­dress­ing the chal­lenge of ter­ror­ism.

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