Drone Attacks in Pakistan

Drone attacks are done by a special airplane called unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] or remotely piloted aerial system [RPAS] commonly known as drones.  Drones are different in sizes, shapes and configurations. USA drone attacks in Pakistan started in June 2004, since then hundreds of attacks have been made. USA labels these attacks a part of its War on terrorism campaign. Till date thousands of people have been killed in the drone war including women and children.

Recently I did a project on “Drone Attacks in Pakistan”  under the supervision of Dr. Tariq Mahmood (https://sites.google.com/a/nu.edu.pk/tariq-mahmood ), the project was the part of the Data Mining Course.

We studied & analyzed the drone attacks in Pakistan.  We got the data from different news websites, validated it and populated the data set. We then transformed the dataset and developed year wise, month wise and date wise datasets.

We performed different types of experiments with the all datasets. Two of them are:

  1. Apply descriptive statistics to know the behavior of the datasets.
  2. Develop models for the datasets and forecast the future values using these models.


Figure 1-A Running chart of No_of_ Attacks

Figure 1-A shows the variations of the attacks over time. It shows the low intensity of drone attacks from 2004 to mid 2008 that gradually increases from mid 2008 and has its highest intensity in the late 2010.


 Figure 02:  comparison of Militant_Killed and Civilian_Martyred run chart & Bars Chart

Figure 02 shows a comparison of run charts of Militant_Killed and Civilian_Martyred series and shows that innocent are martyred in much higher number. There is not a single point in the graph where the run chart line of Militant_Killed surpasses the Civilian_Martyred run chart line.

First, We used the month-wise data set and applied two different modelers for the data set; Expert modeler and ARIMA. We first used expert modeler that finds the best model for each series and applied simple seasonal model that is appropriate for the series with no trend and a constant seasonal effect over time. Its smoothing parameters are level and season. It develops a separate model for each time series of dataset.

UntitledFigure 03: Graphical depiction of forecast [Expert Modeler]

The models forecast that total four drone attacks would be made in January 2013 that would kill five militants and fourteen civilians and would cause thirteen injuries. September 2013 would be the month with the maximum drone attacks i.e. five. Maximum seven militants would be killed in a month (March 2013). In October 2013 thirty civilian will be martyred; twenty one will be injured in March and September 2013. In total forty three drone attacks will strike in Pakistan that will kill 48 militants and 199 civilians and 159 will get injuries. Figure 3 shows the graphical depiction of the  forecast.


Figure 04: Graphical depiction of forecast [ARIMA]

We then used the year-wise dataset. Total 328 drone attacks have been made till December 2012 and the maximum number of attacks in a year is 109. Total militant killed in these attacks are 422 and in a year the highest number of heads count is 125. Total 2458 civilians are martyred in these attacks including women and innocent children too. The maximum 849 innocents are killed in a year. The total number of injuries is 1221 and the maximum injuries in a year are 421.  Per year average of the drone attacks is thirty six that killed forty six militants and two hundred and seventy three civilians and caused one hundred and thirty six injuries.

The models forecast that total seven drone attacks would be made in January 2013 that would kill ten militants and forty seven civilians and will cause twenty five injuries. The maximum eight drone attacks will be made in a month. In December 2013 57 civilian will be martyred; twenty seven will be injured. In total Ninety three drone attacks will strike in Pakistan that will kill 120 militants and 627 civilians and 312 will get injuries. Figure 4 shows the graphical depiction of the  forecast.


Figure 5: Graphical depiction of forecast-Yearwise

The models forecast that total ninety two drone attacks would be made in 2013 that would kill 119 militants and 622 civilians and will cause 310 injuries. The maximum 114 drone attacks will be made in 2015. In 2015 762 civilian will be martyred; 380 will be injured. Figure 5 shows the graphical depiction of the above-mentioned forecast.

We are now doing some more experiments with data to make these initial results better. Will update you soon…