Also Slovak climbers were killed in Taliban’s attack in Pakistan

The terrorist group(s) who is responsible for the attack said that it was a response on American drone strikes and they will continue attacking foreigners because also the world is responsible for the drone attacks. How does this explanation resonate with Pakistani public as drone attacks are deeply unpopular? Read few comments.

Ali Arqam,  Op-ed Writer at Pakistan Today

As for as the shocking incident is concerned, it should be understood that Pakistani militants know very well how to get benefit of the divided opinion and politically motivated debate over the drone strikes. Drone attacks have been proven most lethal and successful against the militants, it has restricted their movement in their dens and lairs of the lawless tribal region, where Pakistan Government has ceased control since a decade.

Here is my piece on drone attacks.

The recent outrage against drone attacks has two aspects, first is killing of the high profile Taliban commander Waliur Rehman mehsud in a drone strike on May 29, 2013, another aspect is PMLN and PTI coming into power in Center and North Western Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whom Taliban have expected to take a firm stand against Drone attacks, which will help stopping these strikes. PTI Chief Imran Khan has promised to shoot down drones after coming into powers.

After the US-withdrawal is on the cards in 2014, Pakistan wants to divert all the militants attention towards infighting in Afghanistan, the best attempt will be made to pacify them and reconcile with them to stop their attack inside Pakistan. But, its not working due to lows in Pak-Afghan and US-Pak relations.

That is why the militant group Jundullah, a cell of TTP which has claimed the responsibility of the attacks killing tourists including two Slovak climbers (unfortunately) has blamed it on the Drones, while tourists had nothing to do with these attacks, neither this act of killing has any support among the general public.

Interestingly, the group Jundullah which has claimed responsibility (later rectified by TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan) is the same which was involved in killing of aid workers in Karachi who were part of anti-polio vaccination campaign backed by UN and other organisations.

Terrorists strike where ever they want and escape scathe free. Linking it to Drone attacks is just political gimmickry on part of militants to provide opportunity to their apologists to defend their crimes on media.

Drone attacks are popular with the public in FATA, its continuity and rate of success suggest it cant be continued without ground assistance, but Taliban control those territories that is why views from those areas seldom emerge at public space.

Aqab Malik, Senior Fellow, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Strategic & Nuclear Studies, National Defence University

The latest killing on Nanga Parbat. (Just for your information, I am an avid hiker, and just recently made a decision to Climb Nanga Parbat, and as such I am devastated by these attacks, as the very people being target are from my community of friends.)

This affects tourism in the region, and especially the mountaineering community. The information acquired may indicate that a particular militant group, or a terrorist group (because they used violence to justify their political goals), may have a long term plan to disrupt the tourism industry in Pakistan, as part of their strategy to isolate that country from the global community by targeting one of the industries that relies heavily on foreign investment.

The Drone attacks are only one of the many reasons for their attack on the tourists. Attacks on International tourism produces international sensation and outrage as opposed to attacks on locals. Even very large local attacks do not have an impact factor that small scale attacks on international events, people or assets can have on foreign media attention.

No doubt, the drone attacks are very much despised by much of the Pakistani population. However, the absolute vast majority of Pakistanis would NOT justify the killing of innocent civilians of foreign origin merely because they dislike the drone attacks by the United States on Pakistani Territory. There is a caveat, however; the drone attacks are principally targeting the very militants that carried out such attacks on the climbers. It is as if to say that “if you attack us, we will attack you where ever you are.”. Meaning any foreigner that they may see as an easy target. But, I come back to my first argument. The political and international isolation of Pakistan is also an important rationale for their attacks on foreigners, and any industry that may cater for international involvement in Pakistan would be deemed a target, as far as they are concerned.

What I would like to highlight is that such attacks are strategic in nature, and that brings us to question who would benefit more from the actual impact of such devastating attacks. these militants and their foreign backers. Attacking easy targets does not bode well for one of the very few industries that is truly international in scope in Pakistan. Damaging this industry, damages the very heart Pakistan and its need to be a complete part of the global community. Nevertheless, the Pakistani population has resolutely condemned these attack, as though they were an attack on the very heart of the country.

Rizwan AsgharVisiting Fellow, James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies

There are very few takers, among the Pakistani intelligentsia and the civil society, for the terrorist groups’ claim that their attack on foreign tourists at the Nanga Parbit base was in response to the US drone strikes. In fact such terrorist groups and factions aim at challenging the writ of state and thus they carry out such activities. Have they been true to their claim, why have they targeted Chinese tourists (when China is a proclaimed ally of Pakistan)? There is no second opinion that drone strikes are extremely unpopular in Pakistan and they cause resentment among the Pakistani public. But the resentment is directed against the US government’s policies. Thus those who attack foreigners in Pakistan do this with the intention to bring a bad name to Pakistan at the international level and thus pile pressure on the government so the latter accedes to their unjustified and often illegal demands (e.g. releasing certain terrorists in the custody of
security agencies).

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