The curious tale of America’s Predators in Pakistan

February 21, 2009

America’s deadly Predator unmanned planes won’t go away from the skies above Pakistan’s troubled northwest, and the controversy over whether these aircraft operate from Pakistani soil only gets more intense.

Following a U.S. senator disclosure that the drones, which have wrecked such havoc and are the cause of much popular anger against the United States, were being flown from within the country, Pakistan’s The News conducted its own investigation.

It has found old Google earth satellite pictures from 2006 showing U.S. drones parked on a runway whose coordinates 27 degrees 51 minutes north, 65 degrees and 10 minutes east place it in Baluchistan.

While the paper identified the three robotic planes parked on the runway as the massive Global Hawks, the specialists over at Danger Room say they are more likely to be the Predators that the United States has come to rely upon heavily on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Britain’s Times also said it had a copy of the Google image showing drones outside a hangar at the edge of a runway whose coordinates placed it in Pakistan.

Predictably the reaction has been intense inside Pakistan which has long chafed at the strikes seen as violating its sovereignty. 

Pakistan’s Teeth Maestro said it was a shocking discovery in a post headlined “Drones parked in our own backyard, to bomb our own people.” Chowrangi, another blog on Pakistan, said another lie had been nailed and there was no knowing how many more were on the way.

Pakistan has denied any of the U.S. drones were flying from Pakistani bases and has repeatedly called for an end to strikes carried out by them.

But is there more trouble ahead for the government ?

[Photos of U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke with Pakistan PM Yousaf Raza Gilani and a protest in Lahore against U.S. missile strikes]

Comments

@Indian wins 2 Oscars.
- Posted by bulletfish

Correction:
bulletfish, Indians won 3 oscars: 2 for AR Rehman (best score and best song) and 1 for Resul Pookutty (Sing mixing). TOI writes “They were Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Malayali, Punjabi, Goan, Tamil, Brit-Indians, Indophile Brits, rich, poor…there was tuxedo, bandhgala, sherwani, sari, salwar… It was multi-hued India’s day in the Oscar sun, even if the movie was made by a Brit under an international banner.” Three cheers for secular India.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

“I hate Allah, Islam and Pakistan: By Ahmar Mustikhan”

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/vie warticles.php?editorialid=683

All,
I apologize if the posting below offended anybody. That is not my view, neither my upbringing. I was trying to get some attention to another deprived community, victim of army and ISI.

I will be glad if the moderator decides to delete that statement.

Happy Blogging!

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive
 

What does this Predator story have to do with Oscars?!! These Indian posters ruin every topic they post on.

Getting back to topic, these drones, whether surveillance or attack drones, are jointly operated by US and Pakistan. They are a way of hitting back at militants who send suicide bombers at targets both sides of the border.

Pakistan is also trying to get armed UAV’s so it can do long-term surveillance against militants and also hit them when opportunity arises.

 

Rajeev: My response here:

@but no rationale and are not placing the post-1947 history in perspective. I am as concerned about Kashmiris as you are.

This becomes a question on who accepts what.
1. Pakistan does not accept the accession to India by the Hindu king as valid to date. And I agree with that. India did not accept a similar wish of the Junagadh Nawab and the Nizam of Hyderabad. For Junagadh, a plebiscite was held. For Hyderabad, the Indian military went in and took over. In the case of Kashmir, Pakistan started the latter act. But the plebiscite was never done.

2.India was the country that went to the UN for a plebiscite. It will be good if both countries honored this and vacated their militaries.

3. In 1972, the Simla accord came into effect and both countries decided to resolve the issue bilaterally. But both of them did not include Kashmiri view point. They have been denied a say. And they have been asking for it for the past 60 years. I do not care for the crocodile tears from Pakistanis.

If India had indeed made Kashmir as its integral part as everyone assumes, then Kashmir should not be enjoying a special status now – no Indian can buy land in Kashmir, no Indian can migrate over there, Kashmir has its own parliament and so on. This clearly means that they have been accorded a status different from all the other states in the Indian union. There must be a reason for this – to please the Kashmiris so that they’d choose to be with India. Why beg them? As adults, let them exercize their choice, whatever it might be. This way India can show its maturity as a real democracy where people’s voice is heard.

I am against China’s occupation of Tibet. I am against Pakistan’s donation of Aksai Chin to China. They had no right to do that without ensuring who Kashmir belongs to – them or Kashmiris.

If you feel for the Tibetans, then you are not being truthful, in regards to Kashmir. We cannot brush the facts off saying it is all old story. Then China can walk into Arunachal Pradesh, ignoring old treaties and claim it as its own territory according to some ancient borders drawn during some dynasty.

No other state inside the Indian union had this unique situation. We may dislike and distrust the Pakistanis for various reasons. But in the case of Kashmir, they seem to have some counter points that might be considered by a neutral judge as valid.

Your honor, I rest my case.

 

Aamir ali wrote:
“What does this Predator story have to do with Oscars?!! These Indian posters ruin every topic they post on.”

He is right guys, we should stick to Pakistan sponsored terrorism and drone attacks which are operated jointly by Pakistan and USA SECRETLY, but opposed by Paki leaders OPENLY.

While Zardari and Gilani are asking funds to end terrorism, pakis are protesting against missile attacks. And in last they have “AN ATOMIC BOMB FOR AMERICA”

Lunacy at its pinnacle.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

@ Mauryan

1.
Partition of India was done on religious lines on the basis that Muslims will go to Pakistan and Hindus will remain in India. But India instead of becoming Hindu nation became a secular country making effectively the rationale behind partion as null and void. Later most of the muslim population choose to remain with India taking away from Pakistan the right of representation of Indian muslims. 1971 saw birth of Bangladesh which became another home for subcontinents Muslim. Now the subcontinents muslims are in 3 nations India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Now who represents Sub continents muslim?
I dont know much about Junagad but in case of Hyderabad the reason for Indian forces to move in was same as that in 1971. Read about Razakars of Hyderabad to know more.

2.
In UN plebiscite there is no mention of independent Kashmir. In 1990s the demography of Kashmir was changed violently making the option of plebiscite void.
Read Kofi Annan’s statement on UN resolution and plebiscite

3.
Kashmiris have all rights to have their say BUT within the framework of Indian constitution.
Jammu already wants to separate itself from JnK and slowly Laddakhis are also demanding separation from JnK. It is the Indian union that have kept these 3 tied.

I personally don’t agree to Article 370 but then its not the only state with special rights. Sikkimese don’t pay taxes to Union Govt. No indian other than arunachali can buy land in Arunachal. Indian require pass to visit Nagaland. But they are still integral part of India.
Also my dear friend there a difference between democracy and demagogy.

Tibet and Kashmir are diffrent. India is not doing ethinic cleansing or religous precesussion in Kashmir. Kashmiris have equal rights in India. Kashmiris have not migrated out of India to escape percecussion. So better we careful in your comparison.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

Once again Indian posters talk about the topic being discussed.

 

Rajiv,

Long live India, even Puddulotti , a muslim talked about OM and dedicated the award to India .

Posted by anju2008 | Report as abusive
 

What does this Predator story have to do with Oscars?!! These Indian posters ruin every topic they post on.
- Posted by Aamir Ali

–Aamir Ali: Perhaps just a postive commercial break amidst this death and destruction.
But your point well taken.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@Chirkut,

I am deeply frustrated in this blog at my Islamic Brothers for something things they say. They keep ranting on about the voices of the muslims not being heard. Why do you folks never consider the voices of the Hindu’s? India has only recently began to see progress. India was occupied for 800 years under the most brutal and bloody occupation in History.

Why don’t muslims ever acknowledge the pain of non-muslims? How do you expect non-muslims to give you reciprocity and parity in discussions, when you never show any positive emotions or a shred of humanity towards Hindus?

My point here Chirkut is, when will you folks quit having one-sided discussions about muslims being the victims all the time. I know never in million years, will Hindus ever be viewed as any sort of victim on Al-Arabiya or Al-jazeera. Any one killing hindus will always be put on the news like with the title of “martyr”.

The world wants to see more humanism from Islam towards non-muslims, yet muslims cry foul when non-muslims say something to point or make a comment.

We frustrated with Islamid double standards, it is against basic rational human thought.

Posted by Global Citizen | Report as abusive
 

@ Global citizen

??
Have you addressed your post to correct person?

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

@Global Watcher

Muslims are trying to solve their problems and don’t have time to massage the egos of non-Muslims.

 

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