LAHORE : Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hassan has criticised Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali’s statement in the Senate regarding number of casualties caused by drone attacks, and said the minister was acting as the spokesman of White House instead of Pakistan. In a statement Thursday, the JI chief said the total deaths caused by drones was estimated far above 4,000 and even according to leading western Human Rights bodies, more than 98 per cent of those killed were civilians while the ratio of the militants killed was below two per cent. This belied the figures given by the Interior Minister in the upper house putting the civilian deaths at 67 only, he added.
He said the Interior Minister had tried to show minimum civilian deaths only to lessen the gravity of the issue. He said the nation should realise that the people coming to power through vote were mere the US tools. He, however, believed that the killings of the innocent women and children in drone attacks would soon arouse the world conscience as was already evident from the visit of a drone affected family to Washington during which the pathetic tale of a minor girl surviving a drone attack even moved the US Congressmen to tears.
It was however, unfortunate that the hearts of the Pakistani rulers had hardened and remained unmoved at such things, he remarked.
Munawwar reminded the Interior Minister of heavy death toll in some drone attacks. He noted that about 100 students were martyred in a single drone attack at a seminary at breakfast time. More than 100 notables and civilians were martyred in a drone attack at a Jirga. The drones had been attacking wedding parties and even funerals causing heavy deaths. Hundreds of mosques and seminaries had also been targeted repeatedly, he said. The JI chief said the US Congressman’s version stating that the drone attacks could end if the Pakistan government so desired, was a slap on the rulers face.
Munawwar also announced in clear terms that the JI would neither support any back door channel for talks with the Taliban, nor would be a party to any such activity. He said the talks should be open and not secret. He said it appeared the government wanted to have the entire game in its hands and also to keep the US informed of the moment to moment development. This, he said, would not be in Pakistan’s interest because if US interference continued, the success of the talks could not be guaranteed. He said the US would make effort to sabotage the talks.