After Pakistan’s protest against recent US drone strikes causing extrajudicial killings, Pentagon Chiefsaid on Wednesday that US would continue to attack al Qaida in Pakistan. He confirmed the death of Abu Yahya al Libi: “We had a strike yesterday that hit another deputy leader.”
US secretary defense, Panetta who is on visit to India attempted to justify drone attacks in Pakistan saying, “The sovereignty of the United States was also at stake because the militants who planned the September 11 attacks were in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The leadership of those who were involved in planning this attack is located in Pakistan, in the Fata.” He added: “We have made it very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves,”
Panetta who is on visit to meet Indian leadership to discuss China and Afghanistan, urged India to play its role in restructuring Afghanistan. He also said that US and India have complicated relationship with Pakistan which needs to be improved and overcome. He stressed that India and US will need to continue engage Pakistan to root out “deep differences” in order to make South Asia a peaceful and prosperous region.
He further supported initiatives taken by India and Pakistan to improve commerce of both countries by normalizing their trade relations. India said that it intends to end ban on investment from Pakistan which can spur exchange by multiple-entry business visas in both countries. Pakistan has also promised to lift ban for imports from India.
It may be reminded, according to the statistics maintained by “The New American Foundation”, an estimated 2,836 individuals have died in drone attacks since 2004. Drone attacks caused more deaths in 2010 when 1,000 people were killed. The New American Foundation also estimated that 2,365 out of 2,836 killed individuals were militants which imply, that the rest of 471 were innocent civilians who died as a result of US strikes in Pakistan.