ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Drone Fever

India should avoid emulating the illegal use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the US.

On 1 November, Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) suffered the same fate as his predecessor Baitullah Mehsud, when he was killed by a combat version of the unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – that has been frequently used by the United States’ (US) military forces to assassinate individuals it finds hostile.

Mehsud was the leader of a group that has carried out a number of terrorist (including suicide) attacks that have killed many in Pakistan. It has also targeted members of the minority communities in the country. The TTP is reviled in Pakistan for its extremism, yet this revulsion does not mean that the people of Pakistan have welcomed the deaths in the drone attacks. Over the past few years, the drones have targeted insurgents belonging to the TTP, the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network. But they have also taken the lives of civilians in the target area; even mourners and funeral attendees have been targeted. Other than periodic statements condemning these attacks, the Pakistani security state establishment has generally winked and nodded at the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles for assassination by the US.

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