Urdu Editorials Condemn US Predator Strikes on Pakistan

The USG Open Source Center translates Pakistani editorials in the Urdu press that condemn US Predator drone strikes on targets inside Pakistan. In a recent poll, Muslim publics, including that in Pakistan, overwhelmingly rejected US military presence in Muslim countries. A year ago, an opinion poll of Pakistanis found that “most Pakistanis do not believe that Pakistan-U.S. security cooperation has benefited Pakistan, and a majority (84 percent) sees the U.S. military presence in Asia as a greater threat to Pakistan than Al Qaeda and the Taliban (60 percent). Two-thirds of the Pakistanis polled do not trust the United States to “act responsibly in the world,” and a vast majority thinks the United States aims to “weaken and divide the Islamic world.” A recent poll of residents of the tribal belt themselves found majority support for the US Predator strikes, but polls show that Pakistanis in general view the US as a destabilizing factor for their country.

Pakistan: Urdu Press Slams Increasing Drone Attacks on Tribal Areas, Baluchistan
Pakistan — OSC Summary
Friday, March 27, 2009

The following is a roundup of excerpts from editorials on the increasing drone attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas and Baluchistan, published in the 27 March editions of five Urdu dailies:

Jang Editorial Criticizes US Definition of Terrorism

Emphasizing that when people react against the drone attacks, they are dubbed as terrorists, the editorial says: “Despite persistent protests by Pakistan, the drone attacks are not ending. Rather an open signal has been given about launching attacks on Baluchistan. It creates a horrific impression about the threats posed to the independence, security, and sovereignty of the country. The United States always claims that foreign militants have been killed in drone attacks, and our agencies back the claim. However, the stance of the local people has been on the contrary. These attacks generate reaction, which is also dubbed as terrorism. The families affected by these attacks enjoy the support and backing of the local population. As a result an unpleasant situation emerges for the government.”

Mashriq Editorial Says US Not Realizing Pakistan’s Problems

Lashing out at the United States for not taking stock of the difficulties its drone attacks are creating for Pakistan in the war on terror, the editorial says: “Pakistan is facing intractable problems because of the drone attacks. On the one hand, precious lives are lost, and on the other, the stability of the country is endangered. In fact, the federal government has repeatedly asked the United States to stop the drone attacks, but it appears that the US Administration has no realization, whatsoever, about the problems and hardships of its ally and is bent on going ahead with its policies at all costs. Drone attacks were also being launched during Pervez Musharraf’s period. The reaction of Musharraf regime was quite similar to the present stance of the government where it is asking the United States to stop the drone attacks and offer to launch action on its own. No talk was ever held with the United States on a diplomatic level on stopping the drone attacks.”

Ummat Editorial Dismisses US Claims About Target

Questioning Washington’s claims that top Al-Qa’ida leaders are targeted in these attacks, the editorial comments: “Since August last year, US planes have made at least 38 violations of Pakistan’s border adjacent with Afghanistan and launched bomb and missile attacks in settled and the tribal areas. Americans claim that several key Al-Qa’ida leaders have been killed in these attacks, but the US media and authorities, which are the master of propaganda,, have failed to show the body of any key Al-Qa’ida leader. The killings caused by the drone attacks are so horrific that it becomes very difficult to identify the victims. Because of this, the killed common people and tribesmen are given the name of militants. Several people whom the United States claim to have killed were later found alive. Militancy in the northern areas of Pakistan came into being as a result of the US policies. Americans are dubbing it as terrorism and are engaged in killing tribesmen with missiles and bombs. The United States faces no threat from these people.”

Jinnah Editorial Terms President’s Baluchistan Visit Crucial

Asserting that President Asif Zardari visited Quetta amid reports about the US plans to launch drone attacks on Baluchistan, the editorial comments: “Reports are pouring in that the United States intends to expand the scope of the drone attacks to Baluchistan. At the same time, these attacks have been accelerated on the tribal areas as well, and there are reports about fixing new targets by the United States. Under these circumstances, President Zardari is visiting Baluchistan. In this scenario, the visit of President Zardari is very crucial.”

Khabrain Editorial Highlights Futility of Drone Attacks

Suggesting that the US act is stoking terrorism and extremism in the tribal areas, the editorial says: “Just two days after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi condemned the drone attacks, the United States again launched the deadly attacks. This clearly proves that the United States does not trust Pakistan despite that it fully supported it in the war on terror and offered sacrifices. So estrangement and hatred against the United States is increasing in Pakistan because of these attacks. The US act is causing increase in terrorism and extremism instead of eliminating it.”

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