Islamabad, Oct. 1: Referring to Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s statement that Pakistan does not disagree with the use of drones to kill militants, but could not approve its illegal method, an editorial in a Pakistani daily has said that if the world disagrees with Pakistan’s stance, the country should assess its capacity to withstand international disapproval, and adopt a middle course, which enlists the support of important states linked to Pakistan’s economy and gives strength to stand up to the forces of internal disorder.
Drones have become internationally controversial but Western capitals accept them as the realpolitik of winning the war against Al-Qaeda, which is spreading its wings in the space allowed by the misdirection of the Arab Spring. Pakistan is not the only country where drones are being used in targeted, antiterrorist attacks; along with Pakistan, Yemen is also heading the list, said the editorial in The Express Tribune.
As for cooperation with Pakistan on drones, the U.S. says it has learned its lessons and does not trust the Pakistani side, which may be penetrated by elements aligned with Al-Qaeda, it said.
Pakistan’s own war against the Taliban has produced mixed results given the terrorists’ outreach into the big cities. There is anti-Americanism fanned by the interior minister’s repeated claims that America, India and Israel are behind the Taliban’s policy of killing innocent Pakistanis, it added.
Pakistan is ‘linguistically’ divided over drones. But there is a rare glimpse of realist commentary in some Urdu writings. An article in a major Urdu-language newspaper on August 28 asked whether it was wise on the part of the army to invade North Waziristan, while earlier operations in Swat, Bajaur and Orakzai had produced mixed results, the editorial said.
The fact was that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were not hurt by the army but by the drones, which took a heavy toll on them. The fact was also that Al-Qaeda’s commanders were killed by drones and Taliban leaders such as Baitullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain fell to drones, it further said.
Pakistan needs to be realistic in the pursuit of its national interests; and these national interests should not be subservient to the passions unwisely aroused by the government’s own isolationist narrative, it concluded. (ANI)