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Dronophobia – by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

The irrational, abnormal and persistent fear of drone strikes

Dronophobia is a case of specific phobia, the irrational, abnormal and persistent fear of drone strikes. A dronophobe believes that drone strikes causes more harm to a state than suicide bombings or military operations, even if the actual threat posed is significantly less. Sufferers experience excessive anxiety even though they realise that the targets of the strikes can cause and have caused considerably more damage than drones.

When this fear reaches an extreme state the person starts juxtaposing the achievements of young girls fighting for female education or anyone getting global acclaim, with drone strike victims. That and linking unrelated events like terrorists blowing themselves up in places of worship, one sect of a particular religion butchering another sect or religious fundamentalists brainwashing the youth, to drone strikes, are considered to be the typical symptoms of Dronophobia.

This phobia is considered to be independent from the fear of other aerial vehicles. In fact a lot of the dronophobes admire airplanes, especially when they are hijacked or crashed into tall buildings in the name of God.

Causes of Dronophobia

Dronophobia is attributed to unrelenting apology for terrorists, unflinching loathe for all things American, and crushes (or man crushes) on the Taliban and Taliban Khan. It may also result from a perverse concept of sovereignty, wherein the person fails to grasp the duties that accompany sovereignty, while vociferously advocating the rights.

Dronophobia is infectious and can be caused by overexposure to tsunamis, religious sermons or freedom fighters in red hats. In a survey conducted of Pakistani dronophobes, it was found that 99.16636 percent of the sufferers did not comprehend the phrase, “least collateral damage” and hence this has been found out to be one of the most common reasons behind the phobia’s spread. Even so, the most well known cause of Dronophobia is found out to be tunnel vision and regularly burying one’s head in the sand.

Symptoms of Dronophobia

The symptoms of Dronophobia are similar to many other phobias like Yahoodophobia (the fear of Zionists), Amreekophobia (the fear of Uncle Sam), or Malalophobia (the fear of 16-year-old girls getting global attention owing to their struggle for women and education). These symptoms include shortsightedness, self-righteousness, blinkeredness, hotheadedness, and the inability to speak or think clearly.

Dronophobia may also cause sufferers to fall in love with terrorists and to go as far as trying to justify killing innocent people who have got nothing to do with drones. However, the most common symptom of course is the endeavour to link seemingly separate matters to drones, so much so that one might mistake Dronophobia to be Dronomania.

Studies have shown that dronophobes are quite often negotiationomanics (obsessed with negotiating with the killers of fellow countrymen) as well.

Prevalence of Dronophobia

While Dronophobia exists all across the globe, it is most commonly found in the left of West and the North West of South (Asia). It is especially prevalent in the “educated class” of Pakistan, most of which consists of malalophobes as well. It has been observed that zones that have a high density of Dronophobia are the ones that also have prevalence of conspiracy theories and a massive following of conspiracy theorists.

Some of the most renowned dronophobes include cricketer turned playboy, turned politician, turned TTP spokesperson Imran Khan, who once famously dubbed Mullah Baradar his “baradar from another madar”; and politician turned writer, turned broadcaster, turned jihadist, George Galloway who recently highlighted the British media’s double standards on Twitter by asking them whether they would have told the world about David Beckham if he’d been a drone victim and not a renowned footballer. Galloway has also proven himself to be a malalophobe, logicophobe and commonsensophobe as well.

Treatment for Dronophobia

Even though dronophobes can be treated with a combination of insaanotherapy and anti-conspiracy drugs, the most effective way might just be by teaching them mathematics. Once the sufferers are able to comprehend that 50,000 is a much (twenty times) bigger number than 2,500 one can set the ball rolling on the treatment for the phobia.

Another important mathematical lesson would of course be of percentages. If the sufferers are taught that nearly 50 percent of casualties in Pakistani military operations in tribal areas are civilians, while conventional military conflicts over the past 20 years have resulted in civilian deaths ranging between 33 percent and 80 percent, while the worst figure for drone strikes has been 20 percent – most surveys show less than 10 percent – the dronophobes might manage to gradually ease themselves out of the phobia.

Other percentages of note are 55 per cent, 52 per cent, 70 per cent and 60 per cent, which are the percentages of people living in FATA who believe drone strikes do not result in fear in the common people; those claiming that the strikes are accurate; those supporting Pakistan military orchestrated strikes and those who say that drones are effective in killing militant organisations, respectively, according to an AIRRA survey.

Even though mathematics might help counter Dronophobia in the long run, after inspecting thousands of samples scientists have declared negotiationomania to be an incurable disease.

Threat of Dronophobia

Dronophobia not only instills fear inside the sufferer, being a viral disease it has the potential of spreading like fire. Quite often this plague is seen to spread through social media, where false facts and fabricated images have the potential of going viral.  Considering the menace of Dronophobia, scientists are deliberating over declaring it to be a fatal disease since it encourages the spread of lethal germs.

If one of your friends or someone you know tends to drag in drones in the argument as soon as you discuss the threat of extremism or debate over absolutely anything that’s wrong in the country, take them to the nearest dronotherapist. Dronophobia is curable only if it’s detected at the right time.

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid is a financial journalist and a cultural critic. Email:, Twitter: @khuldune.

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