Reactions from people in Waziristan on DRONE
Between November 2008 and January 2009 Pakistani Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy conducted a survey of the public opinion about the drone strikes in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. 5 teams of 5 researchers each interviewed a total of 550 people from all walks of life. Most people thought that the drone attacks were accurate and did not lead to anti-American sentiment and were effective in damaging the militants.
Based on the responses the researchers concluded ‘The popular notion outside the Pakhtun belt that a large majority of the local population supports the Taliban movement lacks substance’. Most people thought that the drone attacks were accurate and did not lead to anti-American sentiment and were effective in damaging the militants. In addition the locals wanted the Pakistani forces to also target the militants. According to Farhat Taj a member of AIRRA the drones have never killed any civilians. Some people in Waziristan compare the drones to Ababils, the holy swallows sent by God to avenge Abraha, the invader of the Khana Kaaba.
In an analysis published in Daily Times (Pakistan) on 2 January 2010 Farhat Taj, a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy discussed the issue of drone attacks with hundreds of people of Waziristan. She claims that they see the US drone attacks as their liberators from the clutches of Islamist militiants into which, they say, their state has wilfully thrown them. She claims that estimates about civilian casualties in the US and Pakistani media are wrong because after every attack Islamist militiants cordon off the area and no one, including the local villagers, is allowed to come even near the targeted place. The militants themselves collect the bodies, bury the dead and then issue the statement that all of them were innocent civilians. However, according to the people of Waziristan, the only civilians who have been killed so far in the drone attacks are women or children of the militants in whose houses/compounds they hold meetings. But that used to happen in the past and now they don’t hold meetings at places where women and children of the militants reside. In one case when the funeral procession of an Islamist commander was hit and some civilians were killed. But after the attack people got the excuse of not attending the funeral of slain militants or offering them food.
... in Canada, about 53 000 people are hospitalized with a heart attack and about 26 000 die. ... called arrhythmias. Most people who are of a myocardial infraction or a heart attack do so within a ... grandparents, or other close relatives have suffered heart attacks in the past - this increases your chances of ... are many risk factors that contribute to heart attacks. Some risk factors can be modified or changed ...
Farhat Taj claims that locals usually appreciate drone attacks when they compare it with the Pakistan Army’s attacks, which always result in collateral damage. People said that when a drone would hover over the skies, they wouldn’t be disturbed and would carry on their usual business because they would be sure that it does not target the civilians, but the same people would run for shelter when a Pakistani jet would appear in the skies because of its indiscriminate firing. They say that even in the same compound only the exact room – where a high value target (HVT) is present – is targeted and others in the same compound are spared.
In response to this analysis Irfan Husain writing in Dawn agreed with Farhat Taj’s assessment and called for more drone attacks. He wrote: “We need to wake up to the reality that the enemy has grown very strong in the years we temporized and tried to do deals with them. Clearly, we need allies in this fight. Howling at the moon is not going to get us the cooperation we so desperately need. A solid case can be made for more drone attacks, not less.”
... the Pearl Harbor attack had on the United States and its people. Although this attack killed and ruined ... When the situation became apparent as a terrorist attack, they stopped training just that one-day and ... a positive impact on many other lives. The attack occurred while I was at AIT, advanced individual ... Like most Americans, the day of the terrorist attacks sticks out distinctly. It was a major event ...
In North Waziristan, to combat the strikes, a militant group called Khorasan Mujahedin targets people suspected of being informants. After a drone strike, the group kidnaps people from the area suspected of selling information that led to the strike, tortures, then usually kills them. The torture and executions are often videotaped then sold in street markets as warnings to others.[4