10 June 2013

It's about time - Pakistan calls for the end of drone strikes

Anti-drone resolutions

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly on Monday calling for the end of U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Dawn). Similar to the parliamentary resolution that was passed in April 2012, the PTI measure said the drone strikes were a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.  However, it added a demand that the federal government abolish all agreements with the United States pertaining to the drone campaign.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also hoping to end U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory by offering to eliminate "terrorist sanctuaries," according to a senior government official (ET). Speaking anonymously, the official acknowledged that there are reasons for the drone attacks and that the new government must address those concerns.  He said Sharif's newly elected government was working on a new anti-terror strategy that would be discussed at Monday's cabinet meeting, the first for the new government.  That report comes just days after seven people were killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan and an official protest was lodged with U.S. Embassy officials (NYTPost). 

Sharif met with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Saturday to discuss finding a middle ground with Pakistani Taliban leadership (ET).  While the Pakistani Taliban rescinded its peace offer after the death of deputy leader Waliur Rehman in a drone strike, Pakistan's Minister of Information, Pervaiz Rashid, said the new government was working to create an environment that would bring them back to the negotiating table. 

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