Last weekend, a drone flown by Pakistan's air force crashed just shy of four miles from an airbase in the Punjab. The drone resembles America's iconic Predator drone, and like how the Predator begat the Reaper, there's likely an improved version in the works, which might be what Pakistan is really after. However, the Pakistani official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, indicated that the crashed UAV - which has the appearance of a Chinese Wing-Loong unmanned combat aerial vehicle - was not among those regularly flown by the Pakistan Air Force, suggesting it may have been a newer platform that was still being tested. The engines of the Chinese drones appear to lag behind their American counterparts, but America is fairly strict about who it sells advanced technology to.
If there is any truth to Huxley's remark, the recent bloody border clashes between the Afghan and Pakistani military forces illustrate the common aversion of the Afghans towards their antagonistic eastern neighbours, Pakistan. Many Afghan observers think that the incursion was a face-saving attempt by Islamabad to divert domestic attention from its recent setbacks, particularly the US drone attack that killed Taliban leader, Mulla Mansour, in Pakistani territory. The seemingly disarrayed, multiethnic Afghan nation came together and showed a common aversion to their aggressive neighbour. The seemingly disarrayed, multiethnic Afghan nation came together and showed a common aversion to their aggressive neighbour.
In a statement following their meeting, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's special adviser on foreign affairs, said the discussions were candid. According to the statement, the two sides restated their positions. Pakistan affirmed that the drone strike breached its sovereignty and compromised an already stalled Afghan peace process; and the United States reiterated its accusation that Pakistan is providing safe havens for the Taliban in Pakistan.
A series of emails between American diplomats in Pakistan and Washington over drone strikes are the focus of the criminal probe involving presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information, according to a report Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. The emails in 2011 and 2012 were sent through a "computer system for unclassified matters" that gave the State Department input into whether a Central Intelligence Agency drone strike went forward, congressional and law enforcement officials briefed on the FBI probe told the Journal. Some of those emails were then sent by then-Secretary of State Clinton's aides to her personal email account and private server, officials told the Journal. The vaguely worded messages, however, didn't mention the "CIA," "drones" or details about the targets, the Journal reported. The emails were written within the often-narrow time frame in which State Department officials had to decide whether or not to object to drone strikes before the CIA pulled the trigger, officials told the newspaper.
The recent killing of the Taliban Chieftain, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, by a drone inside the Pakistan province of Baluchistan, is a striking reminder that we have entered a futuristic world where war is waged by flying killer robots and that we have witnessed a massive leap forward in the history of human conflict. Given that war accelerates history and the Islamic world is incapable of producing the cell phones on which its Islamists plot to kill us, the mullah's death by drone reminds us of immutable laws governing the fall of civilizations. Declining civilizations will always face superior firepower from ascending civilizations because sovereignty is only temporarily uncontested. The U.S. agency that conducts drone warfare worldwide, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), was constituted in 2002 and has grown ten-fold since its inception. Staffed by both the CIA and military, it now operates in super-secret locations across the globe.
QUETTA, PAKISTAN – The family of a driver who was killed alongside Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has filed a case against U.S. officials, seeking to press murder charges, police said Sunday. Mansour had entered Pakistan from Iran using a false name and fake Pakistani identity documents on May 21, when his car was targeted by a U.S. drone. The driver, who was also killed, was later identified as Mohammed Azam. The police filed a case on behalf of Azam's family, police official Abdul Wakil Mengal said. It was not immediately clear what legal avenues the family can realistically pursue.
A DNA test has confirmed that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike, Pakistan's interior ministry said Sunday, as the family of a driver killed in the strike sought legal action. A DNA sample from one of the men killed in the U.S. drone attack was successfully matched with a close relative of Mansour, the interior ministry statement said. American and Afghan officials had already confirmed Mansour's death, but Islamabad had declined to do so before the DNA test results. Mansour had entered Pakistan from Iran using a false name and fake Pakistani identity documents on May 21, when his car was hit by the U.S. missile. On Sunday, the family of his driver -- identified as Mohammed Azam -- filed a police case against unknown U.S. officials, seeking to press murder charges against them, police officer Abdul Wakil Mengal said.
The Afghan government is looking warily at the conservative religious scholar who has assumed leadership of the Taliban, seeing in him a rigid proponent of hardline orthodoxy who is unlikely to favor peace talks, officials said. "He is a very conservative, narrow-minded, inefficient kind of person who will never be able to unite the Taliban or gather support," said Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, the deputy and spokesman of Mullah Mohammad Rasool, leader of the most prominent anti-Mansour faction in the Taliban. Pakistan, which has faced fresh accusations of harboring the Taliban after Mansour's death on its soil, said the drone strike had undermined the so-called quadrilateral peace process involving Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and China. But foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz, who said the United States informed Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif of the strike against Mansour three-and-a-half hours before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said contacts would resume.