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In ridiculously confusing meeting, Pakistani PM and Obama agree to continue pretending U.S. isn’t violating Pakistan’s sovereignty and Pakistan doesn’t support it doing so

President Obama met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan this week to discuss

President Obama met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan last week to discuss ways in which the United States would continue to flagrantly violate Pakistani sovereignty with countless drone strikes while the Pakistani security establishment actively collaborated with members of the Haqqani network, all the while Washington sends billions of dollars to Islamabad and Pakistani government officials tacitly support drone strikes. The discussion was a bit confusing for both sides.

As you recall, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan sat down with President Obama last week to discuss the usual: drone strikes, terrorism, and, money. A lot of money. Mr. Obama summing up the discussion on drone strikes:

“We committed to working together and making sure that rather than this being a source of tension between our two countries, that it can be a source of strength for us working together in a constructive and respectful way.”

Indeed, for many it might present quite a challenge to transform the firing of a missile from a remote-controlled U.S. aircraft upon villages throughout Pakistan (primarily in North Waziristan)–resulting in the regular deaths of civilians–from a source of tension to one of “strength,” but then again the president is a trained professional, so we’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It helps, of course, that the government of Pakistan–though publicly denouncing the drone strikes–actually collaborates with the United States in most cases, as a trove of secret memos recently revealed. What doesn’t help, though, is when Amnesty International puts together a report–for instance, the one it whipped up last week–that questions whether drone strikes in Pakistan “may constitute war crimes or extrajudicial executions.” The New America Foundation has a great breakdown of President Obama’s drone wars here. As it illustrates, the president’s efforts to come together with Pakistan is not helped by the fact that somewhere between 258 and 307 civilians have been killed in strikes since 2004, when the campaigns began. (Of course, this is only a shade under the 400 originally reported by Islamabad to UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson, before it then confusedly insisted this week that 67 civilians had been killed since 2008).




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