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Drone Dialogue

2 July, 2013 

Pakistani, US students flay drone attacks
Anil Datta
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 
From Print Edition




A unique and highly constructive exhibition was put up by the Artchowk Gallery Monday evening featuring correspondence between American students, mostly at the Tufts University, USA, and their Pakistani counterparts at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, and the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).


The correspondence in the form of letters, some handwritten, and postcards, is a touching expose of the gargantuan human tragedy that has been precipitated by a superpower in her search for the goals of global capitalism and big power politics, whereby the victims are none other than totally innocent human beings, including mankind’s greatest treasure, children.


It may be mentioned here that beginning 2004, 3,255 totally innocent people, including over 800 children who had absolutely no stakes in the so-called war on terror, have fallen victim to the fury of the US Drone attacks.


A lot many of these attacks have taken place during the presidential tenure of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Barack Obama of the US.


One of the letters reads, “The US has just been treating Pakistan as a training ground for its killing machine. Why are the innocent blameless people of Fata being made to pay for crimes which the US thinks have been committed against it?”


Another letter from Pakistan says, “Those operating the drones from the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada must realize that the killing of a ‘militant’ produces another ten or hundred of them.


There are letters from the US too, and one of them, from Nathan Kennedy, says, “The fact that a US military member can sit in front of a joystick as if he were playing a video game and kill people (innocent or not), totally oblivious to the consequences, is morally objectionable”.


Another one, written by someone who’s just identified himself as Josh, says, “It is tragic that civilians are killed in Drone attacks and the Americans don’t want to see that happen”, but goes on to say, “but FATA harbours terrorists who have killed Americans, including the group that caused 9/11.”


Curator of the art gallery, Neha Ansari, who was at Tufts University recently along with a group of other Pakistani students, while talking to The News, said that in their discussions with the American students, one of them had regretted the loss of innocent Pakistani lives but said ,”under the circumstances, drones raids are the best option”, implying thereby that under the circumstances slaughter of innocent human lives and maiming thousands of other for the rest of their lives, just to pander to the global political and economic strategy of a superpower was the “best option”.


Human life, said to be God’s greatest gift to mankind, was of no value.Noted political and social activist Azhar Jameel while addressing the gathering, said thatThere could be no two opinions about the fact that the policy of indiscriminate Drone attacks by the US was a highly reprehensible act, but said that alongside that, we also must be careful of those in our midst, the religious extremists, who bomb schools and other facilities causing death and destruction and having the audacity to accept responsibility for their acts.