Leon Speed ---
Malik Jalil is a community leader in his Pakistani village of Waziristan that borders Afghanistan. He has flown to London to get his name taken off the drone kill list he believes he is on. He decided this because if Westerners wanted to kill him without bothering to speak to him then he will come and speak to them instead. Malik is one of the leaders of the North Waziristan Peace Committee (NWPC) which is sanctioned by the Pakistan government to try to prevent violence between the Taliban and the authorities.
He speaks of an incident in January 2010 when he lent his vehicle to his nephew to take to a mechanic. While he was speaking with the mechanic another vehicle pulled up with four mine workers inside. Both vehicles were destroyed by a drone’s missile with his nephew suffering injuries and the four innocent mine workers dead. He said the drones track particular vehicles and phone signals. This is when he started to worry that the attack may have been aimed at him.
The next drone attack occurred later in the year during September. He was driving his red coloured vehicle to a community meeting of elders when another nearly identical vehicle some 40 metres behind his was blown up killing all four innocent occupants. The innocents were labourers from a local tribe with no ties to any militant groups. This is when he realised that he was more likely the target.
The third strike in October 2010 eventuated when Malik was invited for dinner at a friend’s house. He used his phone to forward announce his arrival to his friend. Just before arriving to his friend’s house a drone strike hit killing three more innocents.
In March 2011 a missile struck a meeting where local leaders and members of the NWPC were working to resolve a local dispute and bring peace to those involved. 40 innocent civilians needlessly died in the carnage. He has been warned that he and other members of the peace committee are on the kill list. This is when he began to park his vehicle some distance from his destination just in case he brought a missile with him. He also decided to sleep under trees away from his house to protect his family.
He says that he is aware that the Americans think that the NWPC is a front for creating a safe space for the Taliban. He said how would they know they have never been to Waziristan. He makes a very good point when he suggests that the idea of the West not negotiating with terrorists is naive. He uses the example of the IRA trying to blow up England’s Prime Minister, and now the IRA is in the Parliament. This provides more proof that dialogue is much better than controlling with guns and bombs.
He closes with “ask me any question you wish, but judge me fairly – and please stop terrorising my wife and children. And take me off that Kill List”.
Read the entire article from The Independent here.
Cian Westmoreland is a former drone technician and a whistleblower from the US’ drone program. He talks about the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians and how the drone attacks are adding to the radicalisation of civilians. Cian’s story can be viewed in the following clip.