Posted by Abdul Alim
US President Barack Obama has ordered a “sharp increase” in drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas in recent months, website Bloomberg quoted two officials on Saturday.
According to the report, the US officials said that they expect Pakistan to halt CIA operations in the country in retaliation to the drone strikes, and shut down the only air base being used for drones. However, Pakistani national security officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to Bloomberg, claimed that all CIA officers working on the drone program were expelled and the drones were now being launched from bases in Afghanistan.
The US officials were further quoted as saying that Obama’s decision to increase drone attacks reflected the “mounting US frustration with Pakistan over a growing list of disputes”.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta had stated on Thursday that the United States was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan because of the safe havens the country offered to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan. Pakistan, on Saturday, rejected Panetta’s statements and said that he was “oversimplifying some of the very complex issues we are dealing with in our efforts against extremism and terrorism”.