ISSN 2330-717X

Pakistan Says No To Drone Strikes, CIA Operations

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Pakistani officials are demanding that the number of CIA operatives inside their country be reduced significantly and that U.S. drone attacks along the Afghan border be halted.

U.S. media reports quote Pakistani officials who say they want the United States to cuts its CIA personnel in the country by an estimated 25 to 40 percent.

The demands come as leaders from both countries work to repair relations amid recent tensions.

Pakistan
Pakistan

A CIA spokesman said CIA Director Leon Panetta hosted “frank” and “productive” talks with his Pakistani counterpart General Ahmed Shuja Pasha on Monday. The spokesman said the relationship between the two intelligence services “remains on solid footing.”

Ties were strained earlier this year when Pakistan detained a CIA contractor accused of killing two Pakistanis in the eastern city of Lahore. The U.S. said Raymond Davis had diplomatic immunity and acted in self-defense. He was released after victims’ families accepted compensation.

The case stirred anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, where the public is already opposed to U.S. drone strikes against militants in Pakistan’s tribal region.

Pakistan’s army chief condemned a March 17 drone strike in North Waziristan that killed up to 40 people. Until now, Pakistani government officials have publicly denounced the attacks as a violation of the country’s sovereignty, while quietly providing intelligence for the attacks.

But U.S. media reports quote Pakistani officials who say the drone campaign has gotten out of control.

Last week, a White House report criticized Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts, saying the country had no clear path to defeating Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan rejected the report, saying it has sacrificed many lives battling militants and that it cannot be held responsible for Western coalition failures in Afghanistan.

The U.S. ambassador to Islamabad, Cameron Munter, said Monday bilateral ties need to be improved and that the U.S. wants to see a stable and prosperous Pakistan.

VOA

VOA

The VOA is the Voice of America

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