Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Stories that Rip the Heart !!

The Dead were Completely Unrecognisable

Interview With Family Devastated by US Drone Attack

By Asim Qureshi

September 24, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- EXCLUSIVE - Cageprisoners (CP) interview with Haider whose brother-in-law Mohammed Asghar and his friends became the victims of an unlawful US drone attack.

CP: Could you please introduce yourself?

Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem
My name is Haider. My brother-in-law, Mohammed Asghar, lived in Peshawar and worked as a money exchanger in the markets there.

CP: Where did the drone attack take place?
H: The attacks took place in North Waziristan, Miranshah in District Ahmadkheel. My brother-in-law had friends he was visiting in Waziristan. As he was a guest there - and as is the custom of the people - many of the locals gathered to welcome him into the area. He was sat with a group of these people from the community when everybody gathered to pray the evening prayer (‘Isha) together. The drone attack happened in the middle of the prayers and the entire congregation was martyred.

CP: Were there any Taliban or Al Qaeda in the gathering or were they all civilians?
H: All the people gathered were locals from the community who had come to welcome the new guest to the area. The people are renowned for their hospitality and it is unthinkable for them that somebody would come to visit and they would not have a gathering to welcome them. In total, 31 people were killed. Drone attacks are so powerful nobody can escape them merely injured.

CP: How did you find out this happened?
H: Between our area and Waziristan is an 8 hour journey. The drone attack happened at night time and we all knew about it by the following morning. People who had witnessed the attack had come to tell us and described what they saw of the remnants and damage in the aftermath. They said the attack was so severe that they could not even distinguish the bodies from one another- even the bones of the people were completely blown apart. The dead were completely unrecognisable. My brother in law’s coffin was tightly sealed and we were not allowed to open it to view anything. We had the coffin with us for 30 minutes before it was taken away for burial.

CP: Why do you think the US/Pakistan government do this and what do you think they hope to gain?
H: We just don’t know. We don’t know how much authority Pakistan has given the US to attack our areas and we don’t know until when the US are given free license by the Pakistani government to carry out these drone attacks. So far between 1400-1600 people have died as a result of these attacks. Nobody takes responsibility for these civilian deaths. Ask the journalists or officials for the true statistics, we know that it is 1400-1600 civilians, women and children killed. In this, they would have been lucky to even have 11 or 12 ‘militants’ amongst them. These attacks are so widespread that even my brother in law who lives in Peshawar was made a victim of it. Who do I appeal to? Where can I go? I don’t even know who to hold responsible for his death and how I do it.

I am shocked that the US can come to attack Pakistan in this way and Pakistan does not even have the authority to question them on the deaths they are causing. The civilians in all these regions are extremely frightened and fearful. They can’t work in the day, nor can they sleep during the night. As soon as they hear the slightest sound of an aeroplane, they flee in panic from their homes and buildings trying to find a place for security. The whole community is in a state of fear and I just cannot explain to you how unbearable these calamities are for the people. Every household has at least half of its people martyred (i.e.: killed) as a result of these attacks. I simply do not understand what the understanding between Pakistan the US is on this matter.
CP: Haider, thank you for taking the time to speak with us and we are sorry for your loss.

This item was first posted at 

Drone attacks do not bother President Zardari

WASHINGTON: A prominent US journalist Bob Woodward has revealed in his book ‘War of Obama’ quoting president Zardari as uttering that the loss of lives caused by US drone strikes in tribal belt in Pakistan did not worry him, adding that he did not care if so bothers Americans.

Bob Woodward also wrote in his book that President Asif Ali Zardari, after his election, held meeting with the then CIA Director General Michel Hayden on November 12, 2008 in New York. During the reported meeting, Michel Hayden apprised president Zardari of killings of some US citizens among other tribal people in a US drone attack in Pakistan.

According to book, president Zardari replied that deaths inflicted by drone attacks may bother you Americans but not me. Senior Taliban commanders should also be targeted; the book also quoted Zardari as wishing.

CIA used pirated, inaccurate software to target drone attacks: lawsuit

'They want to kill people with my software that doesn't work,' software exec tells court
The CIA used illegally pirated software to direct Predator drone attacks, despite apparently knowing the software was inaccurate, according to documents in an intellectual property lawsuit.
The lawsuit, working its way through a Massachusetts court, alleges that the CIA purchased a pirated and inaccurate version of a location analysis program, which may have incorrectly located targets by as much as 42 feet.

The allegation raises fresh questions about the CIA's execution of drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are believed to have killed hundreds of civilians in the past four years.

And if the court decides to grant an injunction against users of the software, it could potentially halt the CIA's drone attacks, at least temporarily, as the agency works to find a replacement.

Massachusetts-based Intelligent Integration Systems Inc., or IISI, has asked a judge to stop clients of IT firm Netezza from using software IISI says is pirated, reports The Register.

According to IISI, Netezza reverse-engineered a location analysis program called Geospatial and installed it on its own hardware, which it then sold to the CIA. Netezza had contracted IISI to build the software, but decided to create its own unauthorized version after the project suffered delays, the lawsuit alleges.
The CIA accepted the pirated software despite reportedly knowing it "produced locations inaccurate by up to 13 metres (42.6 feet)," reports The Register.

Read more here.


majworld said...

its really sad..but we can only consider it bad nd get sad..dn't hve powers to make decisions. :(
nd few days back, there was a discussion on one channel that media by telling news of death and destruction in the manner they do to increase their ratings, have made people bit insensitive. the death of few people was really a big thing a decade or two ago..but its not the same case now..

Uni said...

Yeah. The worst bit (as Ive said countless times) that we're not able to do anything about it .. I so wish this reality was different.

Yep, this so called media boom has been a quite a decade of doom in this country. More deaths, more destruction, more media hype, greater ratings, humongous insensitivity!!

Thanks for dropping by!

majworld said...

ya agreed..humongous..have to look at dictionary for the meaning :).seems ur well prep for gre..give english part from my side too :)

Uni said...

Humongous .. that word has a story - thats why my forgetful brain remembers it...! Long time back, my 12 year old cousin from the US was using this word a lot in her sentences. And I was like ... what the?! And that's how I know, that it means HUGE.

kewkay HUGE baisti jo hui thee.

Take the GRE before your thesis work starts (early in your MS). Cuz then, life will become too tough to handle the preparation which takes time and acha sa effort. Best of luck!