Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Death & Drones

Thousands Protest Against

US Death Squads And Drone Strikes In Pakistan

Thousands of Pakistanis have come out to protest the reopening of supply lines to US-led forces in Afghanistan following deadly death squad raids and drone strikes in Pakistan.

The protesters said on Sunday that they would not let the government reopen Pakistani roads to NATO’s supply trucks, closed after the US forces conducted a deadly raid against the country’s troops in November.

The angry demonstrators also condemned the American drone strikes, which are regularly conducted by the US forces on Pakistan’s tribal regions, claiming that the airstrikes target al-Qaeda and Taliban militants but locals say civilians are the main victims of the assaults.

Another massive anti-US rally was arranged by the Defense of Pakistan Council, which is an alliance of 40 religious and political parties, in the city of Peshawar.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s parliament unanimously approved new guidelines for ties with the United States. The guidelines demand an end to US assassination drone strikes on the Pakistani territory.

The recommendations, which were drafted by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), also called for an unconditional apology for US-led airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at two mountain posts near the Afghan border.

However, on Friday US officials said that Washington would continue its non-UN-sanctioned CIA assassination drone strikes in Pakistan, rebuffing Pakistani lawmakers’ demands that the deadly attacks be halted.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that if a target is detected by the CIA’s unmanned aerial vehicles, its hellfire missiles will take the shot.

The aerial attacks were initiated by former US President George W. Bush but have been escalated under President Barack Obama.

The US resumed its drone operations in Pakistan in January 2012 after it halted the strikes in November 2011.

Relations between the two countries have hit an all time low after the attack in November

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