Pakistan denies deal over drone strikes

April 7, 2013 at 3:32 PM   |   Comments

ISLAMABAD, April 7 (UPI) -- Pakistani diplomats called a story in Sunday's New York Times alleging a secret deal to permit American drone strikes in the country unfounded propaganda.

The Times said the CIA struck a secret deal with Pakistani counterparts to gain access to airspace over the tribal regions of western Pakistan where many al-Qaida operatives had fled to escape bombings in neighboring Afghanistan. In return, the CIA agreed to target enemies of Pakistan's Islamabad-based national government, which for years has fought to bring the tribal militias under their control.

"We have repeatedly affirmed that Pakistan regards the use of drone strikes as counter-productive," Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry told the Associated Press of Pakistan, the government's official news agency.

The Times account highlighted the assassination of Nek Muhammad, a Pakistani tribal warlord who had successfully managed to fend off government forces and forced the central government into peace negotiations.

The militia Muhammad had assembled included many al-Qaida and Taliban members who had crossed the border into Pakistan -- and who regarded Islamabad's support of the American efforts in Afghanistan as treasonous.

Muhammad was killed in a drone strike carried out by the CIA for the Pakistanis in 2004, the Times said.

Both governments have officially refused to recognize the attack.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
Firing range instructor shot by 9-year-old girl dies
Bodies of missing family found in Oregon lake
California man Douglas McCain killed fighting alongside Islamic State in Syria
Lightning kills police dog in Florida
Fight over passenger's Knee Defender led to emergency landing
Trending News