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Pakistan’s secret understanding with the United States on drone attacks, if any, is thought to be based on the fact that the strikes have killed a number of top Pakistani militant commanders who were blamed for unleashing a wave of terrorism unprecedented in the country’s history.

Despite the effectiveness of the remote attacks, Pakistani Islamist political groups, inside and outside the parliament — including Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) — severely criticized the drone strikes and launched campaigns against them by seeking to stir up anti-American sentiments. These groups charge Islamabad with being “glove in hand with the U.S.” to permit such attacks to be carried out from its territory.

However, opposition from these political groups lack substance and appear designed to manipulate anti-U.S. feelings in Pakistan. This has been the groups’ central objective and appears aimed at boosting their political survival in a country with huge illiteracy rates and weak democratic institutions, and as a result little understanding of political and strategic issues.

The JUI until recently was part of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s government. It withdrew after Mr. Gillani dismissed one of the party’s ministers for accusing a Cabinet colleague of corruption, specifically for taking illicit payments.

Mr. Gillani is facing mounting pressure to curb the drone strikes from Muslim clerical parties, as well as the general public.

In attempt to reduce the pressure, Mr. Gallani said recently that “drone attacks have brought different militant groups together.” He was referring to the killing of TTP and LI members in Khyber during multiple drone attacks.

However, observers say the merging of insurgent groups is not the result of expanding their networks and strategic alliances.

“Rather, militants have come together for their very survival,” said Shakoor Khan, a terrorism researcher.

According to Mr. Khan, TTP militants are moving closer to LI “to use the territory controlled by the latter in Khyber as their new sanctuary, after coming under repeated drone attacks in Waziristan, as well as because of fear of being killed by a people-led anti-Taliban movement in the Swat region of Pakistan.”