If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably heard about the #NotABugSplat campaign by now. It’s a giant art installation in KP that is protesting drone strikes by displaying giant photographs of children’s faces so that drone operators will see them and realise that their targets are human beings and not ‘bug splats’. It’s a fairly clever idea, but there’s only one problem. There are no drones.
There hasn’t been a drone strike in over 100 days. No Pakistanis, innocent or otherwise, are being killed by drones. Meanwhile, there have been over 300 terrorist attacks in Pakistan so far this year that have killed hundreds of innocents.
#NotABugSplat campaign is impressive both in its clever way of drawing attention and its sophisticated use of social media to increase attention to the issue. However, that’s really the only point of it. All the giant photographs of innocent faces are purely for news cameras, not for drone operators. It’s a media sideshow that distracts us from the real cause of our problems. It’s great PR for PTI, but it does nothing to make Pakistan safer.