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Pakistan's Musharraf admits OK'ing a few U.S. drone attacks

April 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM
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ISLAMABAD, April 12 (UPI) -- Former Pakistani military leader Pervez Musharraf said his government OK'd U.S. drone strikes, the first time a leader of the country admitted doing so.

In an interview in Islamabad, Musharraf said his government signed off on strikes "only on a few occasions when a target was absolutely isolated and no chance of collateral damage," CNN reported Friday.

His admission that Pakistani leaders agreed was counter to their vocal and repeated denunciations of the program they say the United States operated without approval. The non-partisan public policy New American Foundation estimates the drone program -- unpopular in Pakistan -- killed at least 1,990 people in Pakistan, including hundreds of civilians.

He said Pakistani leaders would OK U.S. drone strikes after discussions involving military and intelligence units and only if "there was no time for our own ... military to act."

This happened "only rarely," said Musharraf, who left office in 2008 and spent years in exile before returning to Pakistan last month to start a political comeback.

Dawn News reported Friday the Islamabad High Court extended bail until April 18 for Musharraf, who faces charges in the 2007 killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, his wholesale firing of judges in 2007 and the 2006 killing of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.

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