Tighe Barry, reports from the 2012 Pakistan delegation
On Sunday September 30, a group of peace activists, coordinated by CODEPINK from the United States, held a press conference in Islamabad with Pakistan’s most popular political leader, Imran Khan. Khan is former cricket champion and presently chairman of PTI, a lead party in the Pakistani political landscape today. They discussed the horrific effects that drone strikes are having on the everyday lives of the people of FATA and Waziristan, and all the innocent victims who have died in what the U.S. government describes as “precision strikes.” The group expressed its concern that these murders are taking place in the name of all Americans and that they wanted to convey their apologies and deep regrets for the actions of the U.S. government. Banners declaring “Stop Killer Drones”, and “When Drones Fly Children Die” were displayed to show that the Americans’ concern for the over 175 children who have been killed by drones in Pakistan.
Imran Khan described the debilitating effects that the 11 year war being waged by the United States on the people of Afghanistan and on his nation. He lamented that Pakistan has been paying the price of this proxy war that the United States is waging against Afghanistan, now fought on Pakistani soil.
Khan introduced the U.S. delegation to a group of reporters waiting to ask the question “Why have you come?.” Retired Colonel Ann Wright, who is also a veteran of the U.S. foreign service, spoke on behalf of the delegation. She stated that under international law and the articles of the Geneva Convention, the drone attacks are illegal and are an act of war against the peaceful nation of Pakistan.