Mosharraf Zaidi | The News
If the starting point for analysis in the post Hakeemullah Mehsud world is that he was assassinated by the US with malign intent, (and clearly there is plenty of political capital located within that umbrella) then the conversation to be had is about how to find a way to end the constant abuse of Pakistan by big, bad Uncle Sam.
It is hardly controversial for us to accept and embrace the fact that we cannot keep complaining about the alleged abuse we endure at the hands of America on the one hand, and constantly seek direct and indirect American fiscal generosity on the other. The fiscal contradiction, between the money we want to run Pakistan, and the money we have to ask others to provide to us to do so, is at the heart of the Pakistani republic’s deep and abiding dysfunction.
Let us put it a different way. No Pakistani could ever dream of any scenario better than one in which Pakistan enjoys and exercises full and unmitigated sovereignty. This requires crisp and utter clarity about things like drone strikes conducted by another country in Pakistani territory. If they take place without an explicit agreement authorising them, drone strikes are illegal – always have been, always will be.
Mehreen Zahra-Malik | Reuters
The head of the Pakistani Taliban was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on Friday, several security sources told Reuters, the latest in a series of blows to the country’s most feared militant group.
Hakimullah Mehsud, who was believed to be in his mid-30s and was one of Pakistan’s most wanted men, has been reported dead several times before.
But late on Friday, several intelligence, army and militant sources across Pakistan confirmed he had been killed in the drone strike in the lawless North Waziristan region.
“We can confirm Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in the drone strike,” said one senior security official.
Miranshah — A US drone strike targeting a militant compound Thursday killed three insurgents in a northwest Pakistan tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.
The attack took place near Miranshah, the main town in the troubled North Waziristan tribal district.
“A US drone fired two missiles on a militant compound, hitting a part of the house and also a vehicle parked there, killing three militants,” a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
He said that fire engulfed the vehicle soon after the attack, while local people were trying to recover the dead bodies and injured trapped beneath the rubble of the compound.
Another official in the city of Peshawar confirmed the attack, saying the identities of the militants were immediately unclear.
Alexander Abad-Santos | The Atlantic Wire
“I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey,” a 13-year-old Pakistani boy named Zubair told Congress on Tuesday. Zubair was 12 when he and his younger sister, Nabeela, were injured in a drone strike near North Waziristan last October. “When sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear,” Zubair told Rep. Alan Grayson and others at the congressional briefing.
Ryan Devereaux | The Guardian
Drawing on a pad of paper in a Washington DC hotel, Nabeela ur Rehman recalled the day her grandmother was killed. “I was running away,” the nine-year told the Guardian. “I was trying to wipe away the blood.”
“It was as if it was night all of the sudden.”
The date was 24 October 2012, the eve of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holy day. Nabeela’s father, Rafiq ur Rehman, a school teacher living in the remote Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, was dropping off sweets at his sister’s home when it happened.
He had hoped to make the visit a family affair but his mother urged him to go alone. Rafiq did as she wished then stopped at the local mosque for evening prayers before taking the bus home. As the vehicle came to a halt at his stop, Rehman noticed something unsettling: members of his community were preparing to bury a body at a small graveyard nearby.