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June 13, 2014

Pakistan approves, seeks drone attacks in Waziristan

 
June 13, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Two top government officials told Reuters on Thursday the two drone strikes on Wednesday in Waziristan were carried out as a coordinated “joint Pakistan-US operation”.
A Reuters report from Islamabad said 10 militants were killed in this year’s first two drone strikes in Pakistan, officials said on Thursday, six months after the attacks were suspended by Washington to give it space to pursue peace talks with the Taliban.
The report said: “Two top government officials said Pakistan had given the Americans ‘express approval’ for the latest strikes — the first time Pakistan has admitted to such cooperation.”“Baseless” was the one word comment when a correspondent for The News contacted the Foreign Office after Reuters released this report.
“The attacks were launched with the express approval of the Pakistan government and army,” said a top government official, requesting not to be named as he was not authorised to discuss the issue with the media.
“It is now policy that the Americans will not use drones without permission from the security establishment here. There will be complete coordination and Pakistan will be in the loop.”“We understand that drones will be an important part of our fight against the Taliban now,” the official added.
“Another official was quoted by Reuters as saying Pakistan had asked the Americans for help after the attack on Karachi airport, and would be intensifying air strikes on militant hideouts in coming days.
“Pakistan has always publicly opposed the US drone strikes, saying they kill too many civilians and violate its sovereignty, although in private officials have admitted the government supports them.“The Pakistani government is weighing all options after the Karachi attack.”

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