As many as 10 suspected terrorists were killed on Saturday when a United States drone fired multiple missiles into a house in Dra Nishtar area of North Waziristan. This was the second drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal region in a week. Despite strong protests from Pakistani government and a parliamentary resolution against the drone strikes, the United States appears willing to continue with its strategy of eliminating terrorists from the tribal region through drone attacks. This time around, the drone fired around eight missiles into a house that was suspected to be a safe haven of terrorists.
Shortly after the attack, Pakistan’s Foreign Office condemned the strike in strong words and termed these attacks a blatant violation of sovereignty of the country and international law. Responding to the foreign office condemnation, US Defence Secretarysaid on Saturday that the United States would continue launching drone strikes in the tribal area of Pakistan because these attacks ensure protection for the United States. He expressed these views while giving an interview to PBS News.
Addressing a ceremony in violence-wracked Afghanistan on May 2, President Obama himself alleged Pakistan of having safe havens for terrorists even after assassination of terror kingpin Osama Bin Laden. He urged Pakistan to remove all these sanctuaries and move against the militants. The United States believe that its coalition forces based in Afghanistan are attacked by militants from North Waziristan. Also, it is believed that the notorious Haqqani network is also based in the same region. The United States has long been pressing Pakistan to launch a full-fledged military operation in the area bordering Afghanistan to flush out the terrorists.
However, the powerful military of Pakistan is reluctant to launch an operation against their ‘strategic assets’ and even have denied many times presence of the Haqqani network in the region. Now, the US believes that it is left with no other option but to eliminate high-profile terrorists through continuous drone strikes. And definitely, drone attacks are carried out following workable intelligence information from different local sources. Pakistani intelligence officials believe that the strong intelligence network that the US has setup in the area by hiring locals will prove counterproductive for the US in the long run.
It has been around eight years to the drone strikes inside Pakistani border, but now the Pakistani leaders appear a bit concerned about the campaign. The country’s parliament has recently passed some guidelines for resumption of dialogue with the United States. One of the points of the guidelines is to stop the US from carrying out drone strikes as it is violation of the country’s sovereignty. Relations between both the countries went to the lowest ebbs after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in an air raid in November last year. The unilateral operation against al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden also dealt another blow to the already strained relations.