Compensation For Drone Strikes

On Monday the Senate adopted a resolution which urges the government of United States to compensate for all the losses, both lives and property, incurred as a result of the drone strikes in the territory of Pakistan since the year 2000. Senate members have urged the government send copies of the adopted resolution to the United Nations, European Union, Commonwealth, NATO and the Asian Parliamentary Assembly. This resolution, despite the unanimous vote, is not well thought through and is just going to be another ineffective strategy adopted by the government; if they follow through with it.

The reason why it will be an ineffective strategy is because this resolution was adopted in the Senate of Pakistan and that has no effect on how the USA responds to it and neither does it ensure that the USA adopts it. If the legislators are actually seeking a compensation for the losses incurred, then this should be discussed in the bilateral talks between the two countries. Unilateral adoption of resolutions will not get USA on board.

At the same time, the government needs to devise a coherent strategy regarding the drone strikes by USA. These strikes have been taking place for a long time now and Pakistan, as a country, needs to decide whether or not it will allow USA to indulge in such activities in the premises of Pakistan. If it is a matter of the country’s sovereignty then action in this case should not be delayed.

Barely a week ago, Chief of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman made a public statement that the PAF could shoot down that enters Pakistani airspace, and would do so even if that drone belonged to the USA. However, a recent event has proved otherwise. Despite clearly giving America a warning and stating the repercussions of such an action, no action was taken when an American drone entered into Pakistani airspace on Tuesday in the Khurram agency. All the relevant authorities need to be held accountable as to why no action was taken despite meting out the strategy earlier on.

This only further highlights how confused the authorities, both the civilian government and the armed forces, are regarding the matter and that is resulting in inaction. Either the military and the government should drop its bluster and accept the status quo regarding unilateral drone strikes, or it must take concrete steps to solve the problem.

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