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Terrorist attack on All Saints’, Peshawar

04 October 2013


From the Revd Dr David L. Gosling
Sir, - I have more reason than most to be utterly dismayed by the killing of so many people at All Saints', Peshawar, because at least one of my own former students was among the dead. I also believe that the raising of an issue by terrorists does not in itself make that issue important. None the less, I believe that the killing of a reliably estimated 2500 innocent civilians by US drones inside Pakistan's borders is a desperately urgent matter.

Within six weeks of my first arrival in Peshawar in 2006, a US drone killed about the same number of teenage boys as the total number killed at All Saints'. My students told me then what had happened, and this was later confirmed by General Musharraf. Yet, to this day, the United States has not admitted the attack.

Imran Khan swept to power throughout the Province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa because he made opposition to the drones his main electoral plank, and yet in the West there is still very little awareness of the significance of this new phase of modern warfare. The press and the politicians have conned us into thinking that drones are swift and "surgical". They are, as also were the Nazi gas chambers.

If, as you report, the Archbishop of Canterbury wishes to describe the victims of the recent Peshawar bombing as martyrs, then may we accord the same status to the many more innocent civilians killed by US drones?

(Former Principal of Edwardes College, Peshawar)
2 St Luke's Mews, Searle Street
Cambridge CB4 3DF

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