Pakistan wants end to U.S. drone strikes

April 11, 2011 at 3:50 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, April 11 (UPI) -- Pakistan says it wants the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to halt its drone strikes against militants in the country's northwest region.

Pakistan also has called on the United States to sharply cut the number of CIA operatives and Special Operations forces in the country, The New York Times reported Monday. An unidentified Pakistani official closely attuned to the situation told the U.S. newspaper about 335 American personnel would be affected.

The cold shoulder from Pakistan is linked to the recent release of a CIA operative arrested for killing two men he said tried to rob him, officials from both countries told the Times.

The reductions, which would seriously hamper U.S. efforts to clamp down on militants who find sanctuary in Pakistan after conducting raids in neighboring Afghanistan, are being demanded by the chief of the Pakistan army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistani and American officials told the Times.

Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the Pakistani spy agency Inter Services Intelligence, was en route to Washington Monday to meet with CIA Director Leon Panetta, the newspaper said.

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