Pakistani Officials Knew of, Endorsed US Drone Strikes - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Museum/wikimediaToday it was reported that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifurged Obama to end drone strikes in Pakistan during a meeting inthe Oval Office yesterday.
According to data from The NewAmerica Foundation, the U.S. has carried out hundreds of dronestrikes in Pakistan since 2004, which have resulted in the deathsof thousands of people, hundreds of whom
have been civilians.
Unsurprisingly, the American drone program is very unpopular in Pakistan and elsewhere? around theworld.
Sharif's comments to Obama? were made on the sameday? The Washington Post? reported? that somesenior Pakistani officials knew of and endorsed American dronesstrikes from late 2007 to late 2011.
From The Washington Post:
Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA"s drone campaign, topofficials in Pakistan"s government have for years secretly endorsedthe program and routinely received classified briefings on strikesand
casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents andPakistani diplomatic memos obtained by The Washington Post.
The files describe dozens of drone attacks in Pakistan"s tribalregion and include maps as well as before-and-after aerial photosof targeted compounds over a four-year stretch from late 2007 tolate
2011 in which the campaign intensified dramatically.
As well as highlighting that some Pakistani officials knew ofand endorsed drone strikes The Washington Post"s reportingalso points out the level of distrust that has affected therelationship between
the U.S. and Pakistan:
Some files describe tense meetings in which senior U.S.officials, including then-Secretary of State Hillary RodhamClinton, confront their Pakistani counterparts with U.S.intelligence purporting to
show Pakistan"s ties to militant groupsinvolved in attacks on American forces, a charge that Islamabad hasconsistently denied.
In one case, Clinton cited "cell phones and written materialfrom dead bodies that point all fingers" at a militant group basedin Pakistan, according to a Pakistani diplomatic sex office
cable dated Sept.20, 2011. "The U.S. had intelligence proving ISI was involved withthese groups," she is cited as saying, referring to
Pakistan"sInter-Services Intelligence agency.
One of the most interesting parts of the? WashingtonPost's report is the section highlighting that the U.S. This uniquely talented writer provides insightful information on sex with secretary
and in some cases on sex clips office
wasnot solely responsible for the selection of all drone targets inPakistan between late 2007 and late 2011:
Several documents refer to a direct Pakistani role in theselection of targets. A 2010 entry, for example, describes hittinga location "at the request of your government." Another from thatyear refers
to a "network of locations associated with a jointCIA-ISI targeting effort."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has denied that he approved of any dronestrikes while he was in office, despite the fact that a cable from2008 released by
Wikileaks includes Gilani saying the followingabout drone strikes, "I don't care if they do it as long as theyget the right people. We'll protest in the National Assembly andthen ignore it."
It is important to note that Sharif began his most recent termas prime minister last July, after the events reported onby? The Washington Post? took place. Nonetheless,the recent news will no doubt
prompt Sharif to make his oppositionto drone strikes more vocal, especially given the unpopularity ofthe strikes in Pakistan.?