Global Security: Afghanistan and Pakistan - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Submission from Rizwan Iqbal

  1.  Dear members of the Foreign Affairs Committee my name is Rizwan Iqbal, I confess I am not an expert on Afghanistan/Pakistan, or military tactics, or foreign policy, I am actually training to become an accountant. I am writing to you as a concerned citizen of this country, I am concerned because this country is a member of a coalition that is attacking another ally by drone attacks. I ask this committee if Pakistan is an ally in this war on terror then why US/NATO/ISAF forces continue to employ drone attacks against Pakistan?

2.  My submission is specific to drone attack in Pakistan. The war in Afghanistan seems to have no military end and the war is spreading into Pakistan just like the war spread into Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War. I would like to inform the committee that I recently visited Pakistan, and I sensed growing anger in Pakistan partly due to drone attacks by US/NATO/ISAF forces operating in Afghanistan. I urge the UK government to reject, publicly, the use of drone attacks in Pakistan, and urge its allies in Afghanistan to show restraint. If credible intelligence concludes that a terrorist is hiding in Pakistan then this intelligence should be shared with the Pakistanis so that they can act on their side of the border.

  3.  I suggest this committee speak with people who understand Pashtun traditions and customs, and people who have travelled in the Tribal Belt. Only by understanding will be able to work with the Pashtun's in bringing terrorists to justice. I would like to recommend individuals who, I believe, are experts in this field. I have heard Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Threek-e-Insaf, speak at great lengths about what is happening in the Tribal Belt and I feel that his input is important as he understands the people, and he has travelled to the Tribal Belt. I also recently read Robert Fisk's book The War for Civilisation and feel his input will be valuable as he has been to Afghanistan and reported from areas that have suffered from wars.

20 January 2009

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