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While the Indian citizens might have heard about a technology called drones the first time sometime back in last year when a food delivery joint in Maharashtra delivered a pizza using a drone. Our neighbour, Pakistan seems to be two steps ahead when it comes to the technology.

Just few months back, the country joined an exclusive club. Pakistan became the fourth country in the world to have used an armed drone to conduct a targeted killing. The other three countries to have used the technology for same purposes include United States, the United Kingdom and Israel. And, all this rapidly happened at that same time of last two years when India was busy glorifying its initiatives like "Digital India", "Make In India" and "start-up India", to name a few.

The drones, which exactly are unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), are used for targeted killing can lead to various deadly consequences in the future for World peace. The Pakistan Army used the drone to kill enemies on its own territory, unlike the U.S and the U.K. The strikes were part of the country's long-running campaign to pacify Waziristan.

The Pakistan army has been involved in a bitter campaign since August this year to expel militants sheltering in the Shawal Valley. The valley is considered as an important conduit of personnel and weapons into the Afghanistan. Despite having the support of manned aircraft, the forces haven't been able to do much due to the fierce resistance it has faced from Taliban-linked tribal forces in the mountainous valley.

According to ISPR Director-General Asim Saleem Bajwa, the drone strikes are strictly to be used against "high profile terrorists." He further added that such strikes should be seen as an effort to break the will of the militants and clear the region.

The Pakistan government since long has been under huge pressure from the U.S. government to launch ground offensives in its tribal regions in order to stem the flow of fighters into the Afghanistan country. The toll to militant groups has been very high. It is estimated, that more than three thousand people were killed from the offensive in Waziristan alone.

[caption id="attachment_105505" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Pakistan's armed drone Burraq Pakistan's armed drone Burraq[/caption]

The drone used by the Pakistan in the strike was a homemade “Burraq". The drone was originally designed for surveillance mission purposes, but was later on converted to carry on and deploy a missile under remote control. While the Burraq couldn't match the sophistication and range of the United State's Predator and Reaper drones, the drone is capable enough to carry out a targeted killing with a reasonable level of accuracy. This may even lead other states such as India, Iran and Russia who are in possession of less sophisticated drones, to start contemplating whether their technology is good enough to be converted for a similar drone strike. If not this, it shows that some surveillance drones can have or be used for “dual use".

India, on other side which infact is next neighbour of Pakistan and always been in tensed relationship with later for ages, is in very early stage or say already too late to get its army equipped with "drones with warfares". Recently, India’s Directorate General of Infantry has issued a request for information (RFI) for 600 mini-UAVs but that's not exactly the drones or UCAVs used for targeted killing but UAVs to monitor borders.

The drones can prove to be a great tool for Pakistan to please the U.S but on the way of doing this, it's wary of risking money and blood on ground operations.

The use of armed drones throws open various scenarios that could be or couldn't be true in the future. For example, the counter could use the technology in a way that might affect its relations with its neighbors, such as Afghanistan and India. This could further lead the governments of these countries to launch an even more aggressive campaign to develop and start deploying their own drones. The conclusion here is, that this drone strike is more noteworthy for what it represents than for its consequences within the country of Pakistan.

The current situation is that the drone war is expanding and that too in unexpected ways. Few people would have predicted that Pakistan would become the first among the countries in the East to use a drone for a targeted killing.

[Top Image - Shutterstock]

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