Is the United States Violating Pakistan’s Sovereignty?
In the USA’s schizophrenic relationship with Pakistan, one accusation frequently flung at the U.S. is that our “kinetic” activities in the tribal areas of Pakistan violate Pakistani sovereignty. This view is held most strongly by those Pakistanis who don’t live in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (aka FATA), and who don’t have to endure the tyranny of armed militants controlling their lives.
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While it is true that Pakistan’s Army does maintain military outposts in the tribal areas, and those forces sometimes violently clash with militants, the Army does not now and never has had sovereign control as modern nation-states define the concept.
Graphic but grisly proof can be seen in this video clip.
It was drawn from a propaganda video produced by “Al-Amat” studios, the media arm of the Pakistani Taliban, for domestic distribution in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Its goal was to bolster support for the Pakistani Taliban among the local Pashtun populace, and to demoralize the Pakistani Army. (Warning: it shows a night raid on a checkpoint in North Waziristan manned by the Tochi Scouts, a branch of Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps. It includes graphic footage of dead Pakistani soldiers.)
The appalling footage of the dead Tochi Scout is followed by what can only be described as demonic-appearing Taliban jihadi railing against Pakistani Army soldiers. (Remarks are an excerpt).
“WE WANT THE PAKISTANI ARMY TO UNDERSTAND THEIR GOALS. AND NOT TO…GO TO HELL FOR THEIR DOINGS. LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF BELIEF, BEING CLEAN, AND JIHAD IN THE WAY OF ALLAH. THINK ABOUT YOUR LIFE AFTER DEATH. ARMY MOTHERS, SISTERS, FATHERS, AND BROTHERS: MAKE YOUR CHILDREN UNDERSTAND. YOU HAVE WISHED THAT YOUR SON SACRIFICE THEMSELVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY, AND BE SUCCESSFUL. BUT TODAY YOUR SONS HAVE JOINED THE INFIDELS AND THE AMERICAN FLAG AND THEY ARE FIGHTING WITH MUJAHEDEEN AND RUINING THEIR LIFE AND AFTERLIFE, AND WILL GO TO HELL. WOULD YOU LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOUR LOVED ONES? YOU ARE THE WIFE OF THE ARMY SOLDIERS? DO YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND TO BE YOUR PRIDE AND NOT A SLAVE?”