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What is a drone? The US department of defense states that, a drone, or unmanned aircraft, is an “aircraft or balloon that does not carry a human operator and is capable of flight under remote control or autonom ous programming.”1 It’s a fact that drones are introduced to the world in recent time, and there started a significant debate but its origin can be traced atleast to World war1.2 Although drones are mostly related to Asia after 2004 but throughout the twentieth century, however, they were used primarily for surveillance, most notably during the Gulf War and the conflict in the Balkans in the 1990s.3 After 9/11 drones started its role in the war on terror and the frist drone was flown in Afghanistan in ocotber 2001.4 Since then, the US has increased its arsenal of Predator drones from 167 in 2002 to more than 7,000 today.5
US Views About drones:
War on terror started to securitize people from terrorists and drones are the main equipment to securitize people. According to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “ Drones attacks protected Pakistan people as well as US”6 He further said that drones attacks only target the militants and are not counterproductive. Further he said “We are fighting a war in the FATA, we are fighting a war against terrorism,” US believes that drones attacks are successful in diminishing terrorists, and the civilian risk is too little.
US government most of the times refuses of any civilian deaths in drones attack. Avary Plaw, an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, states “One point in favor of drone strikes is that they are weakening Al Qaeda, the Taliban and affiliated groups, and hence protecting lives, American and other. Also, there don’t seem to be better means of doing so”. He goes on saying that civilian causalities can not be avoided, they must be minimized. This is what drones strikes do.
1. DEP’T OF DEFENSE, 331 JOINT PUBLICATION 1-02, DICTIONARY OF MILITARY AND ASSOCIATED TERMS (2010) (amended July 15, 2012). 2 Time Line of UAVs, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/spiesfly/uavs.html (last visited Aug. 8, 2012). 3 See Mary Ellen O’Connell, Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones: A Case Study of Pakistan, 2004- 2009 3 (Notre Dame Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-43, 2010). 4 Eric Schmitt, Threats and Responses: The Battlefield: US Would Use Drones to Attack Targets, N.Y. TIMES (Nov. 6, 2002), http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/06/world/threats-responses-battlefield-uswould- use-drones-attack-iraqi-targets.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm. 5 Anna Mulrine, Unmanned Drone Attacks and Shape-Shifting Robots: War’s Remote Control Future, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR (Oct. 22, 2011),
6. Leon Panetta, US Secretary of defence, interview to Indian channel on June 6, 2012 08:26 Drones attacks Effects:
The other side of picture of drones attacks is totally opposite and strongly against the lay claims of US. One of the witness, a humanitarian worker of US said, “I remember people crying in the streets,” he says. “People were afraid about what might happen next. People didn’t know if there would be another attack. There was tension in the air. This is what it is like.” He’s describing life today where regular U.S. drone strikes happen. “It is a continuous tension, a feeling of continuous uneasiness. We are scared,” he laments. “You wake up with a start to every noise.”7
Let the discussion be started with James Jefferey ‘s article, where he speaks as “On a computer screen in the unit’s headquarters I watched a building explode and heard it on the radio that enemy fire had ceased. Shortly after, we were notified a tractor and car had arrived at a nearby patrol base’s entrance, loaded with body parts of seven Afghans killed by the strike. Six were children who had been in a neighboring building. The forward air controller had said the targeted building contained no civilians.
I spent the rest of the day compiling a report about the incident — writing amid a mental fog of shock, nausea and disgust at what I was part of.”8 The US officials always claims that drones effect only the militants and the civilian casualties are in single digit, this is misleading the world about the destruction of drones, which mostly kill innocent people. According to Stanford report drones only target 2% of militants and the recent are innocent people, mostly children. Further the policy of drone are counterproductive, according to the culture of Pakistan and Afghanistan, all the family fight against those who kill any member of their family. That’s the reason suicide bombing took place after 2004 in Pakistan when drones started killing people without any faults. ————————————————-
According to the same report the economy of people in drones stricken areas ie Waziristan is collapsed severely. The fact is most of the people in FATA work locally, they have shops, vegetable court, or sell things on open ground. The fear of drones in the area is immense most of the shops are either destroyed by drones or closed because of the fear. In most cases the earning male of the families are killed in drones, it should be clear that FATA is like most of Pakistan and Afghanistan areas where only male work for livelihood and support their families. ————————————————-
7. Conor Friedersdorf, ‘Every Person Is Afraid of the Drones’: The Strikes’ Effect on Life in Pakistan, SEP 25 2012.
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/every-person-is-afraid-of-the- drones-the-strikes-effect-on-life-in-pakistan/262814/ 8. James Jafferey, The View From the Wreckage, Bublishesd SEPTEMBER 26, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/09/25/do-drone-attacks-do-more-harm-than-good/the-view-from-the-wreckage One of the member of FATA and effected of drones said that,
“A drone struck my home… I was at work at that time, so there was nobody in my home and no one killed… Nothing else was destroyed other than my house,” he explained. “I went back to see the home, but there was nothing to do — I just saw my home wrecked… I was extremely sad, because normally a house costs around 10 lakh, or 1,000,000 rupees [US $10,593], and I don’t even have 5,000 rupees now [US $53]. I spent my whole life in that house… my father had lived there as well. There is a big difference between having your own home and living on rent or mortgage… I belong to a poor family and my home has been destroyed.”9 Because drones fly most of the time upon them so mostly people sit at home and those who go for work are a lot worried about their homes, so the business and the works are nearly now finished. US claims that drones strike only the militants, perhaps they call children as militants because in drones mostly children die.
In 2006 a drones attack on a madrassa in Bajuar, a tribal area of Pakistan, resulted in 80 deaths in which 69 where children aged 7 to 17. One of the drone affected person interviewed he said “My three sons died in drone attack, they were 8, 5 and 3 years old. They studied at an Islamic religious school in our area. I only have one son now. I miss all my dead sons, but I miss the eldest the most because he would take care of the family in my absence.”10 The big number, in all reports, is of children and women who are the part of no terrorist groups but the most innocent creature of God. The official number of children death in drones attaks is 176, while the un official number is greater that this. Children have stopped going to schools because of the fear of the death of class fellows in drones.
The education system has fully collapsed in the region, accordingly to the report of Stanford most of the parents have stopped their children to go to
school. The parents say that drones are always fly around the region so if it sees our kids praying in school it will attack and kill them. ————————————————-
9. . Conor Friedersdorf, ‘Every Person Is Afraid of the Drones’: The Strikes’ Effect on Life in Pakistan, SEP 25 2012. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/every-person-is-afraid-of-the- 10. Mudasir shah (interview published) US Drones Kill Innocent People in South Waziristan Saturday, 03 November 2012 08:15 http://www.asiacalling.kbr68h.com/en/news/pakistan/2963-us-drones-kill-innocent-people-in-south-waziristan One father, after seeing the bodies of three dead children in the rubble of a strike, decided to pull his own children out of school. “I stopped my kids from getting an education,” he admitted. “I told them we will be finished one day, the same as other people who were going to school and were killed in the drone attacks.”
He stated that this is not uncommon: “I know a lot of people, girls and boys, whose families have stopped them from getting education because of drone attacks.”11 while interviewing people by Stanford team on of the tribe man Ismail Hussain uttered. “the children are crying and they don’t go to school. They fear that their schools will be tragedy by the drones ” (P 89 of stanford) beside that drones have affected the metal caliber of students and have drawn their attention from study, lets quote Faheem Quereshi the sole survivor of drones attacks in Waziristan. Faheem was the most brilliant student in the class and remained topper before a drone came and fractured his skull and make him nearly blind. Faheem states , “Our minds have been diverted from studying.
We cannot learn things because we are always in fear of the drones hovering over us, and it really scares the small kids who go to school. . . . At the time the drone struck, I had to take exams, but I couldn’t take exams after that because it weakened my brain. I couldn’t learn things, and it affected me emotionally. My [mind] was so badly affected . . . (p. 90-91 of Stanford report)” Most of the student have metal problems and are in trauma because of the on going regular fear of death. It’s a nightmare when drones are flying around above the houses. When children sees drones they scream and run to houses, they are in fear all the time having in mind drones can kill them in no time. They doctors say that 95% of people are psychologically disturbed, women, men and children.