After a lull of six months the US drones fired missiles on militants on 11th June 2014 followed by another on 18th June. The last Predator fired missiles in Pakistan on December 25, 2013 near Miranshah, capital of North Waziristan tribal area resulted in death of 3-4 people. The CIA had not carried out a strike in Pakistan since then. The
frequency of attacks had waned steadily since peaking in 2010. There was an average of one strike every two weeks. This hiatus of 168 days was the longest since Obama took charge of the US
presidency. A year ago US President Obama made a case of reforming the secret CIA drone program in a speech at the National Defence University in Washington in which he vowed to wind down the “boundless global war on terror”. Obama outlined that the drone reformation meant that no civilians would be killed or injured in authorized strike. There have been about 380 drone strikes in Pakistan over the past decade killing somewhere between 2,080 to 3,428 people including militants and civilians.
Some analysts are of the view that TTP insurgency in FATA area is far from over and foreign militants are also based there. Drones had done good job to hit them with precision without much collateral damage. (Though there has been lot of resentment over the collateral damage). In absence of US drone attacks the army will have to use fighter jets to pound the TTP positions. But of course these bombs lack precision of the drone missiles. In a recent air force attack in North Waziristan thirty people were killed of which seventeen were reportedly innocent civilians. The US Counterterror
officials have also expressed disquiet about revival of al Qaeda if the drone campaign is abandoned. (2)
According to them al Qaeda “appears to be reclaiming lost ground, with its activities once again increasing in the region and its ability to exercise leadership control from Pakistan seeming to be on an upswing.”
The latest drone attack on militants in North Waziristan has been launched after the murderous terrorist attack on the Karachi airport by joint team of TTP and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). Reportedly Uzbek militants belonging to IMU were killed in this drone strike. There are reports that this drone attack was conducted at the behest of Pakistan.