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
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