A secret deal between the ISI and the CIA over drone strikes is the subject of a new book by Mark Mazzeti, “Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army and a War at the Ends of the Earth”. The Pakistan army would agree to the strikes but first the CIA had to kill their enemy number one, Nek Muhammad, the elusive militant who had been carrying out deadly attacks against the army. The CIA kills him in 2004 and as a result is allowed to start the drone programme, says the book. It was part of the deal that the responsibility for killing Nek Muhammad would be shouldered by Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office has rejected the story as baseless. It maintains that it considers the use of drones a violation of its sovereignty. This is not the first time that someone has pointed attention to covert deals allowing drone warfare. Since such shadowy business has no record as such, reports about them can be easily concocted or rejected as baseless.
What is, however, obvious and which even the UN has accepted as true is that drones constitute a gross violation of human rights; on an average they kill 30 to 40 innocent humans for every militant and hence there is no law in the world that can allow such atrocities. The Pakistan government’s duty to its citizens of protecting their lives necessitates that it stands up against the strikes.