Leaked CIA documentsand Pakistan’s diplomatic memos have revealed that there was an explicit agreement between the U.S. and Pakistan over drone strikes on the latter country’s soil.
The files show maps as well as before and after photos of at least 65drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal region from late 2007 to late 2011, which the US shared with Islamabad.
Some files also describe confrontations between senior U.S. officials and their Pakistani counterparts over Pakistan’s alleged ties to militant groups.
These memos bring to light the fact that not only were top officials in Pakistan’s government secretly endorsing the strikes, but had also been receiving classified briefings by the US on the attacks and the casualty counts.
US drone strikes on Pakistani soil have increased significantly over the last few years.
The numbers are indeed alarming. The fact that the government of Pakistan has been aware of these drone strikes has been discussed in detail among local journalists and leading politicians. In fact, just recently, Hussain Haqqani, a former Pakistani Ambassador of the US, declared in his book, Magnificent Delusions that Islamabad was not only supporting but also sponsoring terrorist groups whose members were the targets of American drone strikes.
Haqqani specifically says: "My countrymen will someday have to come to terms with global realities.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is visiting the US right now and has reiterated his country’s objections to the drone campaign and asked for the strikes to be stopped.
CIA strikes “have deeply disturbed and agitated our people,” he said in a speech Tuesday at the U.S. Institute of Peace. “This issue has become a major irritant in our bilateral relationship as well. I will, therefore, stress the need for an end to drone attacks.”
Ashraf Jehangir Qazi,Pakistan’s ex-ambassador to the UN, recently said that drone strikes are unlikely to stop anytime soon and will continue even after 2014. He also added that despite Amnesty International’s claim that Washington may have broken international law by killing civilians with drones: the US will never be put to trial.
His reason, “The US cannot be tried in any international tribunal because it has become a member of the International Court on the condition that it would be exempted from any prosecution. They consider themselves above international law.
The unfortunate reality is that human life is becoming increasingly expendable and in the cases of drone strikes is seen as nothing more than collateral damage.