The Obama administration has been accused of killing civilians in drone strikes carried out to nab down al Qaeda and other radical groups reported to have a base in Pakistan.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif in a meeting with United States Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale, on May 25, 2016, expressed concerns over the US drone strike in Balochistan on May 23rd in which Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was reportedly killed, The Express Tribune blog reported.
The US drone strike which allegedly killed Mullah Akhtar Mansoor occurred in a province which has long been a ‘red line’ for Pakistan.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had criticized the US drone strikes earlier, describing them as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. In an adjournment motion submitted by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar to the Senate, he said the issue would alter the security calculus in the region and that it posed new threats to national security and sovereignty.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has reported the deaths of 966 civilians in Pakistan as a result of US drone strikes since the year 2004. The Huffington Post had reported last year that nearly 90 per cent killed in US drone strikes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia were not the target.
According to the Washington Post and leaked intelligence documents, drone strikes conducted by the United States during a five month long campaign in Afghanistan caused the deaths of unintended targets nearly nine out of 10 times. In its 2014 report “You Never Die Twice, Multiple Kills in the US drone program” the UK Charity Reprieve had reported that in targeting al Qaeda leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults. They failed twice and Ayman al Zawahiri was reportedly still alive. In the six attempts it took the US to kill Qari Hussain, a deputy commander of the Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), 128 people were killed including 13 children. Further, public reports suggest some men on the CIA Kill List have ‘died’ as many as seven times.
Pentagon documents also revealed in 2015 that the US military had faced “critical shortfalls” in the technology and even intelligence it uses to find and kill suspected terrorists.