With complete indifference to Islamabad’s objections US drone blitz in the tribal belt of Pakistan continued for the third consecutive day killing over 15 people. The recent attack brings the death toll from drone attacks in Pakistan to 27 in the last three days.
The rising number of drone strikes in the country has fueled the anti-American sentiment among the people. Anti-US and NATO protests and demonstrations have become a regular routine. People appear on streets and burn US and NATO flags stating that both of them are the enemies of Pakistan.
For the US, drones have been considered a vital tool in their campaign of targeting top brass of Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants seeking sanctuary in Pakistan. According to US government officials, the president personally approves or vetoes each strike personally.
The Pakistani government has always stood by the fact that drone strikes are counterproductive because of the collateral damage they cause. Moreover, it is important to state here that drone strikes have stemmed recently after relations between US and Pakistan strained following the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala check post by NATO.
Pakistan demanded an apology for the incident and as protest, blocked NATO supply routes. However, NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has recently disclosed that in order to wind down its operation in Afghanistan the organization has inked an agreement with three Central Asian states which includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
The range of new options, where on one hand will provide flexible transport network to NATO will at the same time increase distances between the strategic alliance of US and Pakistan.