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Afghanistan: Did Pakistani drones attack Panjshir Valley? | Afghanistan: Did Pak drones attack on Panjsheer valley

International

-BBC Telugu

By BBC News తెలుగు

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Updated: Friday, September 10, 2021, 18:06 [IST]

Anti-Taliban militants in the Panjshir Valley

While the Taliban are trying to consolidate their grip on Afghanistan, there are allegations that Pakistan is using drones to eliminate anti-Taliban forces.

The BBC investigated the allegations. However, Pakistan has denied such allegations.

There have been allegations of Pakistani drone strikes in Panjshir

What are the arguments on drones?

The Taliban also claimed control of Panjshir province, northeast of Kabul. This is the last area in Afghanistan where the Taliban have fought to the last.

However, claims have surfaced that the Taliban used drones with the help of Pakistan to target their opponents.

Afghan journalist Tajuddin Soroush says he has information that it is true.

“Pakistan has detonated drone bombs in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan,” Panjshir Governor Kamaluddin Nizami told Tajuddin Sorosh.

Others say some targets were attacked by air. The Taliban do not have the capacity to do so, only Pakistan.

Most of these claims have gone viral on social media. Comments are pouring in that the incident is a testament to Pakistan’s involvement in Afghan affairs.

Iranian and Indian media have accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack. In some of their reports, misleading photos were used claiming to be of the Pakistani military and weapons. However, along with Pakistan, the Taliban also denied the allegations.

Pakistan Army spokesman General Babur Iftikhar spoke to the BBC. “This is completely untrue,” he said.

“Pakistan has nothing to do with what happened inside Afghanistan, be it Panjshir or anywhere else,” he said.

The United States and other countries have long accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban. However, Pakistan has always condemned these.

However, many in the Pakistani military and intelligence services maintained ties with the Taliban.

CH-4 on display at the Beijing Aviation Show (file photo)

Does Pakistan have its own drones?

Yes, there are.

In March 2015, Pakistan reported that it was using drones against terrorists operating in the North Waziristan tribal region.

In that attack, a domestically made ‘Burrack drone’ was used. It can launch laser guided missiles from the air to the surface.

The Burak drone was developed and developed by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission of Pakistan. There have also been reports that Pakistan has purchased long-range drones with the help of Turkey or China or both.

Last year, it was reported that Pakistan had bought the ‘Wing Long II’ made in China. The BBC investigation has revealed that the UAE has also used it in the Libyan conflict.

The most important of these, however, is the report that Pakistan has purchased CH-4 drones made in China. This drone can be used for espionage as well as attack. These are the drones that Saudi Arabia is using to fight the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

According to the Defense Journal ‘Jane’s Defense Weekly’, the CH-4 is an unmanned vehicle of the UAV type.

One variant, CH-4A, is mainly used for surveillance. It stays in the air for about 30 hours. At the same time, its second type is CH-4B. It can carry 345 kg of explosives. It will only be in the air for 14 hours.

What kind of version does Pakistan have? It is unclear whether they are still in use. At the same time, Pakistani officials have denied allegations that they have long-range drones.

Apart from this, Pakistan has a Shahpar 2 drone. It can travel in the air for up to 14 hours. Can also carry weapons. There are other drones in Pakistan as well. But, they are used for surveillance. They cannot be armed.

Burrack drone on display at Pakistan's 2015 military parade

Can Pakistan launch drones in Afghanistan?

At present, there is no clear evidence for this.

Open source researchers who have been tracking the Pakistan drone program for years shared a picture of the CH-4 drone. This is a July 12 film of this year. It can be found in ‘Google Earth’. Of these, four drones are seen at the airbase near Bahawalpur.

This photo can be used to estimate Pakistan drone capability. However, there is no proof that these drones have been used in Panjshir recently.

Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute in London suspects the drones were involved.

He explained that the Chinese-made CH-4 drone used China’s satellite communication network to detect long-range targets.

“China is not ready for attacks outside the Pakistan border,” he said.

“In such a situation, the CH-4 will need a direct line-off-site radio control link from the ground station. This will make it very difficult, but not impossible, to work on the rough terrain on the Pakistan border.”

The key question is how the attack will actually benefit Pakistan.

“Whether Pakistan has drone capabilities or not, there are no strategic benefits to Pakistan from this attack,” said Dr Maria Sultan, a defense analyst in Islamabad.

“Given the current situation in Afghanistan, it is unclear whether there will be any strategic benefit from Pakistan’s direct intervention there,” Justin Bronk said.

Also read:

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English summary

Afghanistan: Did Pak drones attack on Panjsheer valley

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