Chaudhry Nisar’s Nonsensical Explanation of Drone Policy

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has said that Pakistan is going to review US ties after an American drone strike killed the terrorist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis, including innocent women and children and soldiers like Gen Sanaullah Niazi. The Interior Minister is probably right that our relationship with America needs review. After all, this is what he told journalists at Punjab House:

Nisar said during their talks with various US officials, including the Secretary of State John Kerry, Pakistan had urged a complete halt to drone strikes, especially during the peace talks.

“The US promised it will not target the TTP but only those fighters who were crossing into Afghanistan along with Hakimullah Mehsud,” Nisar said, adding that Pakistan had accepted their condition and objected to those as well as any strike in its territory since it could undermine the peace talks.

According to the Interior Minister, Pakistan both accepted US drone strikes and objected to US drone strikes during recent meetings. Of course there were also certain conditionalities: No targeting of TTP, only the militants that are with TTP.

This is the most nonsensical policy imaginable. We accept drone strikes, and we object to drone strikes. You are permitted to kill some militants, but not other militants. Nevermind that they don’t wear uniforms or carry flags – or that the ‘difference’ is nothing but an illusion. Drone strikes are a violation of sovereignty and international law, except when we accept them, presumably.

It should also be noted that this is not a leak or the analysis of an opposition politician. It is the statement of the Interior Minister himself that contradicts what he and others have been saying. But is anyone really surprised?

As long as we continue to play these not-so-clever double games where we accept and object to drones, we will never be able to be taken seriously in relations with other countries. And let us be honest: Its  making it increasingly difficult for us to take ourselves seriously also.

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