Pakistan’s Hub for Global Jihad Is Under SiegeExcerpt from Aboard the Democracy Train

`But even as the US-leaked memos and statements accused the ISI of secretly supporting the Afghan Taliban, Pakistan put its foot down on allowing the US to operate inside settled areas. While US drone missile strikes grew more frequent, they were only allowed to operate in the FATA belt along Afghanistan. Drones became a weapon of choice in North Waziristan, where Al Qaeda’s foreign fighters and Taliban congregated but where the military held off from conducting any operation.

The UN has questioned the legality of drone attacks because of the highly covert nature of the strikes. Although the true extent of civilian casualties are unknown, a study by the New America Foundation shows that while drones have killed more than 1,300 people, the civilian fatality rate is approximately 30 percent of that figure.

On the other hand, Washington has ramped up drone attacks because they avoid the loss of US lives, and there is no media to record the blood spilled on the ground. But the strikes remain highly unpopular in Pakistan, where common people pay the ultimate price. These drone attacks have been avenged by the militants through a spree of almost indiscriminate suicide attacks in Pakistan.’

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