twitter

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Senior Pakistani Official: Military trainers and special forces but no drones in Pakistan

In an interview with Fox News a senior Pakistani official claimed that U.S. military trainers will be allowed back into Pakistan as early as April but drones will not be allowed back into the country. In Pakistan the parliament is reviewing relations with the U.S. and will issue a list of conditions for resuming cooperation with the U.S.
   The remark about drones appears to mean that no drones will be based in Pakistan not that there will be no drone attacks in the tribal areas. Those attacks resumed a few days ago already.
  The list of conditions included no covert CIA or military operations in Pakistan on the ground. Pakistan will not allow unauthorized incursions into its airspace either. If this is for real then any drone attacks would need to be officially rather than unofficially acknowledged. The Pakistani parliament passed a motion some time ago demanding that the drone strikes cease. However, they have resumed after a pause of a couple of months.
  Rather than ceasing altogether it would seem that Pakistan is actually even now providing intelligence so that the CIA drones can hit selected people targeted. See this article.   Pakistani operatives in the tribal areas are already cooperating with British and U.S. intelligence according to sources quoted in that article.
   If the U.S. agrees to Pakistani conditions not only would U.S. military trainers be allowed to continue their work but also special forces. Close cooperation in targeting militants in border areas would also resume. This could very well involve providing intelligence for drone operations as already seems to be happening. Border crossings would also be opened for supplies to cross into Afghanistan.
    If Pakistan does officially allow CIA drone attacks this seems to contradict the parliamentary motion for them to cease. Any official approval of the attacks could bring even more protests and turmoil within the parliament. For more see this article at Fox News.

 

No comments: