News

    US Lawmakers Reject Pakistani Calls to End Drone Strikes

    A Pakistani villager holds the wreckage of a suspected surveillance drone that crashed in Pakistani border town of Chaman along the Afghanistan border in Pakistan, August 2011. (file photo)
    A Pakistani villager holds the wreckage of a suspected surveillance drone that crashed in Pakistani border town of Chaman along the Afghanistan border in Pakistan, August 2011. (file photo)
    Michael Bowman

    American lawmakers are rejecting renewed calls by Pakistan for an end to U.S.-sponsored drone strikes in the country.

    Tuesday, a Pakistani government commission demanded an end to U.S. military strikes conducted by unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft known as drones. Asked by VOA if the United States should heed Pakistan’s wishes, Independent Senator Joe Lieberman was blunt.

    "No. The drone strikes are critically important to America's national security. So obviously I do not believe they should stop,” he said.

    Drone attacks are credited with eliminating scores of terrorists and radical militants in Pakistani territory near the border with Afghanistan. The program began under former-President George W. Bush and has been expanded dramatically under President Barack Obama.

    In a report read to Pakistan’s parliament, a government commission described drone attacks as counterproductive, alleging the strikes radicalize local populations, create support for terrorists, and fuel anti-American sentiment.

    The drones are needed, however, absent a more aggressive effort by Pakistan to root out terrorists and radical militants, according to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    “I think the key is whether Pakistan will go into North Waziristan and other places and take out those terrorist leaders who are essentially fueling and leading attacks against our troops in Afghanistan," she said. "I think that is the outstanding issue, which determines if Pakistan will take the action and shut down the bomb factories and go after the [terrorist] leadership - then the drone is not necessary.”

    Pakistan has long complained that drone attacks are a violation of national sovereignty. Although Pakistan has never given the United States formal permission to carry out aerial strikes, the attacks are believed to be carried out with some degree of cooperation by Pakistani intelligence.

    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he is mindful of Pakistan’s objections.

    “I do believe sovereignty is, obviously, a big issue for any country. But I would like to see Pakistan embrace the idea that extremism has no welcome home in Pakistan. The day that the Pakistani people, though their government, will tell extremists 'You are not welcome here' is [would be] a breakthrough for the people of Pakistan," said Graham.

    Graham said that drone strikes have been effective and that, in his words, “it is not in Pakistan's long-term interest to be seen by the world-at-large as a safe haven for terrorists.”

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
    Middle East Voices
    . Follow our Middle East reports on
    Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Sunnny
    March 25, 2012 5:44 AM
    agree with Bryan

    by: Godwin
    March 22, 2012 7:38 AM
    Pakistan hid bin Laden for years and provided everything he needed: surveillance materials to use in planning further attacks. Every cooperation with Pakistan was the power of bin Laden to be elusive. The OFFICIAL asking for withdrawal of drones is the man we're looking for. His loyalty is to al qaida; leak-point, the bin Laden link man, and the US should beware that he does not take part in any classified business in relation to allied forces operation in the region

    by: Cha Cha Cohen
    March 21, 2012 12:42 PM
    It may be the Super America lead the 'Drone Technology' it is not very difficult 'cowardice technology' and any state can have it in a few years time, if they wish! Then 'God save us from the peril'! This is exactly the way the dinosaur went extinct!

    by: bryan
    March 21, 2012 10:36 AM
    Pak can shot them,drone MAY kill 1 surely kill children civilians, recent killing in France how angry we went,many Pak children we have killed going to school.If US is funding.as per record Pak not paid promised,they spend their own $68 bln for war US wanted.George cmnt funny as US made talibans & fund them, now meeting taliban leaders in Qatar is 2 face &making their HQ means YES,released top taliban Guntanamo bay with luxury lives in Qatar.how Mr George would define all that?

    by: George
    March 21, 2012 8:31 AM
    Pakistan is a pinnacle of corruption, more they cry, more money they get from US and EU. Just look at prosperous and peaceful India and you will see remarkable difference between the two, and that was once a single country.
    There is no doubt the terrorists of Afghanistan have a great support in Pakistan and Pakistanis do nothing about it. Just like the Bin Laden hideout!

    by: Rehan
    March 21, 2012 5:42 AM
    @ Michael Robbins

    You remembers the death of two thousand US soldiers in Afghanistan, but due to the US mess in Afghanistan there are thousands of Pakistani soldiers and civilians died in Pakistan and economy severely suffered too..Why you want Pakistani to open their borders for supply when at the same time US drones attacked Pakistani civilians and CIA spy's like Raymond Davis killed Pakistani citizens on road in day light....

    by: Chenedu
    March 21, 2012 4:13 AM
    It will be intresting to see Pakistan adopting counter-measures against the drones or fire at where the drones take off

    by: Michael Robbins
    March 20, 2012 9:34 PM
    The death of 24 Pakistani soldiers due to an errant drone strike in November 2011 is minuscule in comparison to loss of more than two thousand US soldiers over a period of five years while they were fruitlessly looking for bin Laden in the rubles of Afghanistan when in fact Pakistan was sheltering bin Laden in Abbottabad. It is Pakistan that needs to apologize to the US for their acts of perfidy.

    Pakistan needs to stop blackmailing the US by holding up supply trucks en route to Afghanistan.

    by: Archie1954
    March 20, 2012 6:45 PM
    The US refuses to cease bombing Pakistan so that country should simply shoot down the drones. Simple isn't it?

    by: Jacques
    March 20, 2012 4:57 PM
    I truly believe that when I moved to Canada from the US way back in 1959 the Canadian gvt and it's allies municipal, provincial and whoever else had the street name i lived on named for a purpose and the cross street was radcliff maybe like in Radcliff line. I don't think there is anything Pakistan can do to avoid the drone thing because I also believe that some of the political groups behind the strategy have done and would do worse to furthur their political objectives.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora