A female supporter of Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami, at a protest against U.S. drone strikes in Karachi November 24, 2013.
Akhtar Soomro / Reuters

On September 7, Pakistan officially became the world’s ninth country to successfully develop an unmanned combat aerial vehicle, which it used in an operation against Taliban militants in the northwestern tribal area along the border with Afghanistan. Three militants died in the attack. Beyond furthering Pakistan’s fight against the Taliban, the Pakistani drone conveyed to Washington that the era of Washington’s own drone activities within Pakistan’s borders is drawing to a close.

The United States started its drone campaign against Islamist extremists in the country’s tribal areas in 2004. Since then, there have been hundreds of drone strikes on high-profile militants linked to al Qaeda and Taliban. The strikes have been effective insofar as they have killed many high-profile Taliban and al Qaeda militants in the country’s tribal region—for example, Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of Pakistani Taliban, who was involved in the killing of thousands

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  • SYED FAZL-E-HAIDER is a contributing analyst at the South Asia desk of Wikistrat. He is also a freelance columnist and author of several books, including the Economic Development of Balochistan.
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