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Reactions from People in Waziristan on Drone

  • Date Submitted: 01/15/2012 06:54 AM
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Reactions from people in Waziristan on DRONE

Between November 2008 and January 2009 Pakistani Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy conducted a survey of the public opinion about the drone strikes in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. 5 teams of 5 researchers each interviewed a total of 550 people from all walks of life. Most people thought that the drone attacks were accurate and did not lead to anti-American sentiment and were effective in damaging the militants.[375]
Based on the responses the researchers concluded 'The popular notion outside the Pakhtun belt that a large majority of the local population supports the Taliban movement lacks substance'. Most people thought that the drone attacks were accurate and did not lead to anti-American sentiment and were effective in damaging the militants. In addition the locals wanted the Pakistani forces to also target the militants.[417] According to Farhat Taj a member of AIRRA the drones have never killed any civilians. Some people in Waziristan compare the drones to Ababils, the holy swallows sent by God to avenge Abraha, the invader of the Khana Kaaba.[418]
In an analysis published in Daily Times (Pakistan) on 2 January 2010 Farhat Taj, a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy discussed the issue of drone attacks with hundreds of people of Waziristan. She claims that they see the US drone attacks as their liberators from the clutches of Islamist militiants into which, they say, their state has wilfully thrown them. She claims that estimates about civilian casualties in the US and Pakistani media are wrong because after every attack Islamist militiants cordon off the area and no one, including the local villagers, is allowed to come even near the targeted place. The militants themselves collect the bodies, bury the dead and then issue the statement that all of them were innocent...

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