CIA likely to resume drone strikes

Published: January 9, 2012

UAVs may be launched from US military base at Bagram, Afghanistan.

ISLAMABAD: America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is likely to resume the drone campaign that it had apparently called off following a deadly Nato airstrike on Pakistani border posts in the Mohmand tribal region on November 26, 2011.  However, this time around, the frequency and intensity of attacks by pilot-less aircraft would not be as high as it was in the past.

Sources told The Express Tribune on Sunday that both sides have almost agreed on ‘fresh terms of engagements’ to resume drone attacks against suspected al Qaeda members and their local facilitators hiding in the tribal areas, including North and South Waziristan.

The deadly aircraft operated from the CIA Headquarters at Langley in McClean, Virginia, would now be flying from American airbases in Afghanistan, said an official privy to the developments taking place behind the scene.

The Bagram airbase, just outside the Afghan capital Kabul, might be the new launch pad for drone attacks inside Pakistan in the future, said the official.

Conditions

Though the parliamentary committee on the national security is still working out new terms of engagement with the US, it was recently reported that top intelligence officials from Pakistan and the US were already busy in secret talks to lower tensions.

Officials said the resumption of drone strikes might be under new conditions. They added that Pakistani negotiators had convinced their American counterparts on at least a couple of conditions: First, the drone strikes should not be as frequent as they were in 2010 and 2011. And second, the CIA should narrow the stripe the aircraft were targeting under the approach known as ‘box formation’ in military terms.

“We don’t want them to be that frequent … it creates problems for us by invoking public anger,” the official added, saying Pakistani authorities believed drones were ‘strategically harmful but tactically advantageous’.

About the box approach, he added that the areas the Pakistani military had already claimed to have cleared must not be hit. “We want them to be within a smaller radius,” the official explained.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2012.

Reader Comments (33)

  • ashok sai
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:28AM

    ‘areas the Pakistani military had already claimed to have cleared must not be hit’

    Sure CIA would have got the clue !!!

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  • Super Star
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:30AM

    Back to square one !

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:39AM

    That would be an attack on our soil from another country. An act of “war”. We cant sit silent on such act.

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  • UMAIR
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:41AM

    And we are desperate to shot it down.

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:54AM

    It is the Return of the Drones, Part II

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  • Jan 9, 2012 - 11:01AM

    Vienna,January 9,2012
    Does it mean where Mullah Omer is hiding is No Go Area ?
    Never mind,drones can reach No Go Areas from Go Areas
    of Afghanistan.The interval on drone strikes is natural taking
    into account the fresh planning and configuration time required.
    The basic rule remains the same ” With or without Pakistan
    co-operation terrorists would be eliminated”.No more “strategic
    dialogue”.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Jan 9, 2012 - 11:20AM

    pakistan lady F.M. must come out with confirmaion or otherwise statement – she appears to live away from scene, it is time nation must be taken into confidence by her.

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  • straight-talk
    Jan 9, 2012 - 11:24AM

    Any surprises ?

    Pakistanis must understand that there officials had been talking to the US to limit drone attacks to manageable extent. That means a foreign force can enter Pakistan and kill Pakistanis till it is politically manageable. This shows the shameful condition of the Pakistani state. This also must tell Pakistanis the extent to which their state has ceased to exist and has been replaced by US hegemony.

    However US is not the villain here. US is answerable to its citizens and it is pursuing its interests. The leadership in Pakistan has failed its people.

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  • maz3tt
    Jan 9, 2012 - 12:20PM

    No surprise no money no luxuriesRecommend

  • Jan 9, 2012 - 12:21PM

    Very good.. now zaid hamid will come on tv to give his last n final warnings

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  • Maulana Haqiqatan
    Jan 9, 2012 - 12:31PM

    What about the heroic super-muslims who killed dozens of Pakistani soldiers, after abducting them? After all, the FC troops are only doing the dirty work of Americans, CIA, RAW, and Mossad. We should offer taliban the Nishane Pakistan. They are the real heros.

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  • Paki-Australian
    Jan 9, 2012 - 12:56PM

    Drone attacks are carried out with mutual agreement, it’s not an attack on our sovereignty!
    There are more benefits for us, let the US fork out the bill to fight a common foe.

    Please resume the back breaking of the extremists. Welcome with open arms!!

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  • Jan 9, 2012 - 1:00PM

    What will the Army do now??

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  • yaz
    Jan 9, 2012 - 1:01PM

    This is unbelievable. The relative peace we have enjoyed in the past few months have been because there were no drone strikes and negotiations with Taliban. Ofcourse can’t have peace for too long. Be ready for suicide attacks and bomb blasts everywhere once again.Recommend

  • Nand
    Jan 9, 2012 - 1:37PM

    Many people had predicted that once the supply route is stopped, ISAF will fall on its knees. Seems not. Yet another blunder on the thinking of the PAK.

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  • Mir
    Jan 9, 2012 - 2:19PM

    I would like to see response of Imran Khan on new terms of engagement on drone strikes after killing of our soldiers by taliban btw whats the difference between old and new terms of egagement.

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  • MarkH
    Jan 9, 2012 - 3:13PM

    @yaz:
    Yeah, those 25+ deaths just suddenly never happened because it wasn’t the US.

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  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Jan 9, 2012 - 3:39PM

    Will the Chief of Army call in Air force to shoot down these drones???

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 9, 2012 - 3:58PM

    Pakistan is waiting for the drone attack to shot down the drone as soon as it will enter in Paklistan’s airspace terrority.

    If US want to test it, send the drone for the attack and she will see the result. It will be the first litmus test followed by similar response every time whenever the drone will enter Pakistan airspace.

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  • Jan 9, 2012 - 4:23PM

    Will they pay for collateral damage??????

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jan 9, 2012 - 5:04PM

    @hameediK:

    pakistan lady F.M. must come out with confirmaion or otherwise statement – she appears to live away from scene, it is time nation must be taken into confidence by her.

    Since when has the Rulers of Pakistan ever taken the Nation into Confidence???
    Its more like they will feed the Nation, what they would like to, thru their Propogandas !!
    Recommend

  • MarkH
    Jan 9, 2012 - 5:07PM

    @Truth Exposed:
    People aren’t going to pay you back for the destruction of a militant sanctuary you’re supposed to be taking care of in the first place if you want that “sovereignty” claim to be more than imaginary.
    Don’t like it? Do it yourselves. Nobody is stopping you and nobody is going to have sympathy for anyone complaining about damage. It’s a militant sanctuary that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Not a residential/commercial building. That collateral pay is not the common form of the request. You’re saying you want money to compensate for the losses and damages to extremists and their hideouts. Requesting to compensate for extremist losses does not point a pretty picture for the world as a whole.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jan 9, 2012 - 7:07PM

    Sources told The Express Tribune on Sunday that both sides have almost agreed on ‘fresh terms of engagements’
    .
    I thought your Parliament was going to determine the future of those relations?

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  • Hedgefunder
    Jan 9, 2012 - 7:49PM

    So finally some sense id being restored ! Perhaps its another charade from Pakistan to get few $$, but this time the US is going to be lot more smarter than they have been in this relationship for past decade.
    There will be no unaccountable funding for Pakistan in future, as that is already done deed, the question is as to how sincere this arrangement is likely to be !

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  • hamza khan
    Jan 9, 2012 - 8:50PM

    unless the army has an alternate to the tribal militancy issue, the drones remain the most viable option to keep these from attacking pakistani and coalition forces. pakistan cannot be a staging ground for attacks. period. if drones are needed, let it be. we should not be so naive. Recommend

  • KJK
    Jan 9, 2012 - 9:11PM

    Every one is bedazled with what the army is trying to achieve out of these tactics. at one side it has created a problem by not sacking the most corrupt person and on the other side they are back tracking of this highly objectionable thing. God knows what is mr kayani doing. Recommend

  • thomas a
    Jan 9, 2012 - 9:58PM

    @Maulana Haqiqatan:
    All Americans must leave Pakistan and all Pakistanis must leave America!

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  • gerald
    Jan 10, 2012 - 3:14AM

    i hope the US never help Pakistan again. When we were there you wanted us gone. Now that we are gone you want us back? Fight your own battles.Good luck tracking down all those Talibans without aerial recon assets.

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  • Miyan Masood
    Jan 10, 2012 - 4:23AM

    People are not really really dead when killed by Taliban, only pretending. On the other hand getting killed by Kafirs like Americans sends you directly to jannat. Pick your choice.

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  • Mirza
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:01AM

    Christmas and New Year’s holidays are over. Now back to work again. Drones are the best thing that has happened to keep civilians safe from the terrorists. As long as safe havens are there drone attacks should continue. Pakistani army may wait to avenge the death of 25 soldiers but the Drones would not wait.

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  • Amir Ali
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:35PM

    good news for tribune:)more dollars

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  • Khan Bhai
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:37PM

    We have learned nothing.

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  • Devin Leonard
    Jan 11, 2012 - 12:41AM

    The most powerfull country on earth shouldn’t have a backwater nation telling us when and where we can use our drones to kill Al Qaida, Taliban and Haqqanni opeartives. We need to tell the Pakis that we will hit wherever we wish, or they can kiss the rest of thier military aid goodbye!

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