(ISLAMABAD) — Long-standing allegations that the U.S. has always conducted drone strikes unilaterally against suspected terrorists in Pakistan have been all but obliterated by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
Having returned to his homeland after several years in exile, Musharraf now says that his government actually signed off on some U.S. plans to target Taliban and al Qaeda militants making safe havens in the largely lawless northwest region of Pakistan.
This assertion by the ex-leader, if true, undermines what the Pakistani government has been saying for years, publicly condemning the unmanned drone strikes as a violation of their national sovereignty.
Musharraf contends that he and other military leaders only agreed to go along with missile strikes when the target was confirmed and there’d be no chance of civilian casualties.
There has been some evidence in the past that the Pakistanis may have been complicit in the attacks that began in 2004 but Musharraf’s claim appears to prove that the U.S. wasn’t acting alone to eliminate threats to its interests as well as those of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN