Report: Pakistan Approved US Drone Strikes for Years
(WASHINGTON) — Classified documents and memos obtained by The Washington Post reveal that Washington and Islamabad have had a longstanding agreement about allowing CIA drone strikes in Pakistan that target suspected Taliban and al Qaeda militants.
The news came on the same day that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told President Obama at the White House that the drone attacks must end.
However, the CIA files and Pakistani memos quoted by the Post suggest that Pakistan gave approval to the attacks, which began in 2008, despite publicly denouncing them as a violation of national sovereignty.
In fact, the top secret documents indicate that Islamabad was made aware of dozens of drone strikes beforehand, based on markings on reports prepared by the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. The CIA unit also boasted about all the terrorists killed in the attacks while claiming that no civilians were victims, a contention disputed by human rights groups.
Furthermore, the documents also suggest that relations between the two governments have been icy at numerous times, with at least one report detailing how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confronted Pakistani officials about being in cahoots with militants targeting U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
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