Imran Khan Drone March: Why Won't The Military Stop The Drones?
The world’s biggest two day march, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, and a unanimous resolution passed in Parliament, has not and will not end the US drone attacks that are claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians, many of whom are women and children.
The march was opposed not only by TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), the intended targets of the drone strikes, but also many other political parties and prominent figures condemned the protest march, due to political agendas.
The answer lies in the corporation that really controls Pakistan; the corporation that reportedly has a ‘£10bn empire’ and that the government has admitted it has no control over. I am of course talking about the Pakistani Military.
It’s no secret that the government of Pakistan has little to no control over the military. So the passing of a resolution calling for the end of drone attacks has no clout, unless the military decide to enforce it. But they aren’t going to do that. Why? Simple, money. Lots of it. Pakistan have received a reported nearly £30bn of direct aid since 1948 from the US, nearly half of which has gone to the military.
We have seen what happens when the Pakistani Military stops playing ball with the US; the US immediately responds with a suspension of military aid. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free meal. The cost of this aid immensely outweighs the benefits. In the midst of these abhorrent political agendas, rivalries and financial gains, innocent civilians are paying the price with their lives. The exact figures are difficult to determine, however the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has reported that civilian casualties are between 474 – 884.
It’s easy to blame the US, it always is. But the only reason the US are able to kill innocent civilians is because Muslims are not united in defending their own people. If the Muslim Pakistani Army decided tomorrow that they will not let another single US drone enter Pakistani territory, then they would save the lives of their own people. After all, the army is there to protect the people of the country, not to sell their lives for financial aid. Yes, the US would cease aid to Pakistan and an already volatile relationship would worsen, but if that is the cost of saving innocent civilians that have never played any part in terrorist activities, then that is a price the military should be willing to pay.
Once again, another example of how the US is able to capitalise on our inability to unite. And once again, the people that ultimately pay for it with their lives are the innocent civilians, who have never posed a threat to anyone, let alone be classed as terrorists.