20 June 2014
Pakistani officials label recent CIA drone attacks against Taliban hideouts as a ‘Joint Pakistan-U.S. operation’
In an interview with Reuters, a top Pakistani government official stated that two recent drone attacks that were conducted by the CIA in the area of North Waziristan were deployed ‘with the express approval of the Pakistan government and army’. The government official remained unnamed at his own request as, according to Reuters, he was not permitted to discuss the matter with the media.
The Times of India reports that the first strike came on late Wednesday, 11th of June, with a suspected American drone firing two missiles at a militant hideout in the North Waziristan area near the Afghan border, resulting in the death of 3 militants. Then, on early Thursday, the 12th of June, a second US missile strike targeted another militant compound in the same region, killing at least 10 people. The area is particularly known for being home to numerous militant groups- both local and al-Qaida-linked.
The NY Times stresses that, in Pakistan, issues of drone attacks are deeply unpopular, with the Pakistani government publicly voicing opposition against the US drone strikes. In private however, officials have not only admitted to supporting them but, according to Reuters, have stated that ‘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.’