Home / Culture and Society / Pakistani Convoy Protests Drone Strikes

Pakistani Convoy Protests Drone Strikes

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Although Pakistan and the US appear to have chosen to largely ignore the damage and death being wrought by the pilotless drone, a uniquely 21st century weapon, on Saturday, a former cricket star turned activist will lead a march in protest of the killing strikes.

Pakistan is an Islamic state, with a modern government and a modern constitution. Its original constitution was adopted in 1956, and has undergone significant change, but since 1985 has been the basis for a government with a bicameral 100-member senate and a 342-member national assembly. The president of Pakistan is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president, currently Asif Ali Zardari, is elected by an electoral college. The prime minister of Pakistan is usually the leader of the largest party in the national assembly. Pakistan, a member of several world bodies including the UN, is very much involved in the ongoing war on terrorism, much of which is focused on its neighbor, Afghanistan.

Pakistan has a long history of turbulence and warfare with India; the countries share a common border. In 1998, India tested five nuclear weapons; Pakistan, in spite of some attempts at regulation by the United States, detonated six nuclear weapons and is now a nuclear state.

This weekend may mark a turning point for the government of Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari has criticized the use of drones by the US. These drones have caused numerous civilian deaths. One agency, the London-based nonprofit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, has estimated that between 2500 and 3500 deaths have been caused by the pilotless aircraft; 500 to 900 of them civilians. Pakistani President Zardari calls the drone strikes “counterproductive —a violation of the national sovereignty.” But he has done nothing to stop them, and many Pakistanis now believe his do-nothing posture amounts to tacit consent.

On Saturday, hundreds of political activists, including a number of Americans, led by Imran Khan, a former cricket player, began a march to demand an end to the drone strikes. “These strikes kill the innocent; … they breed militancy.” The peace convoy is hoping to enter the South Waziristan town of Kotkai, home of Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban. Mehsud is believed to be hiding in North Waziristan. The group hopes to reach their destination by Sunday, noon, but it is feared that the 200-plus vehicles will be prevented from entering South Waziristan by civil and military authorities who cite security issues.

The Taliban considers Khan a secular politician; they have threatened the motorcade. They distributed pamphlets on Saturday, warning of raids, and possible suicide attacks.

Photo: UK Telegraph

Powered by

About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Ahmad Rizwan

    Dear John, I would like to correct you here that the President is not elected through an electoral college. He is simply nominated by the elected members into the National Assembly. He even does not have to have been a candidate in any of the elections. Whereas the Prime Minister is the one who is elected by the electoral college and the National Assembly further votes to appoint him as the Prime Minister to lead the nation. According to the Constitution, Pakistan has a parliamentary form of government where the Prime Minister is the Head of the State while the President is the Ceremonial figure who oversees the affairs and passes the bills approved by the National Assembly and then the Senate to become laws.

  • John lake

    Thank you for your insight. Reference material is sometimes out of date, sometimes inaccurate.