American drone strikes in Pakistan have killed hundreds of innocent people, as a result of often having missed their target or hit the wrong one.
A case in point: Just three days after a public meeting to draw attention to the mounting civilian death toll from such strikes, two boys have been killed by a missile fired from a U.S. drone.
In a strike that undermines U.S. claims of missiles targeting militants without causing civilian casualties, Tariq Aziz, 16, and his cousin, Waheed Khan, 12, were killed Monday at Norak near the Afghan border.
So far this year, the U.S. has launched more than 50 drone strikes in Pakistan. Under the new arrangement reportedly worked out between the CIA and the State Department, the latter, technically, should have a greater say in such strikes. Pakistan will receive an advance warnings of such attacks. But it appears that the White House rarely exercises such authority. In addition, it seems that the CIA has to inform Pakistan of such strikes only if it believes it will kill more than 20 militants.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, a large number of unmanned strikes carried out by robotic American drone aircraft are launched without officials identifying the targets. These strikes were first used under former President George W. Bush and continue under the Obama administration despite opposition from Pakistani authorities.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism studied 306 missile strikes from remotely piloted drones in Pakistan; at least 2,349 deaths were reported as the result of such strikes, with a minimum of 392 civilians killed, including 175 children.
The growing evidence of civilian casualties from drone attacks raises serious questions along with mounting anger among border communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.