US drones kill up to 80% civilians – Pakistan Interior Minister
October 18, 2012
The absolute majority of the people killed by American UAVs in Pakistan are innocent civilians, claims Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik. If given the drone technology, Pakistan can do the job better, he argued earlier.
Malik revealed that according to Islamabad calculates, the number of drone attacks in recent years totaled to 336 episodes, of which 96 were launched from Afghanistan.
There are no exact statistics of people killed in drone strikes in Pakistan. Estimates vary from about 2.500 to over 3,000 victims. Reportedly as many as 174 of them were children.
The latest US study claimed that only 2 per cent of drone strike casualties in Pakistan are top militants.
The researchers at Stanford and New York University also claimed that the American drone strike policy in Pakistan has not helped Washington achieve its goal of curbing terrorism in the region. The civilian deaths that mark practically every drone strike on terror suspects in Pakistan’s tribal regions have achieved the opposite goal: locals hate the US because of the unceasing fear that death may come from above at any moment.
Most of the strikes have been made in North Waziristan province, a militant stronghold against which Islamabad is considering a fully-fledged military operation. Civilian deaths have been causing outcry in Pakistan, which ultimately forbade the US military transit to Afghanistan for months as a result. Pakistani government has repeatedly demanded Washington to cease drone strikes, but the program continues despite all the odds.