US drone strikes ‘on hold’ in tribal areas

Published: December 14, 2011
US officials fear more strikes may push Pakistan-US relationship 'past the point of no return'. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

US officials fear more strikes may push Pakistan-US relationship 'past the point of no return'. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

As the US-Pakistan relationship continues to plummet, the US has placed its covert air campaign against al Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Pakistan’s tribal agencies “on hold” The Long War Journal reported.

According to the report, US officials fear that an attack at this point in time would further damage the already brittle relationship between the allies. Several US intelligence officials involved in the CIA programme, which uses unmanned Predator and Reaper strike aircraft told The Long War Journal.

“There is concern that another hit [by the drones] will push US-Pak relations past the point of no return,” one official told The Long War Journal. “We don’t know how far we can push them [Pakistan], how much more they are willing to tolerate.”

One official was clear that the programme is “on hold” but that they would consider striking if a target of opportunity presented itself.

“We may strike soon if an extremely high value target pops up, but otherwise there is hesitation to pull the trigger right now,” the intelligence official said. The official refused to say which terror leaders would cause the US to reconsider the pause, and attack.

Relations between the two countries have been deteriorating over the past two years but the November 26 US airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani troops in Mohmand led to Pakistan shutting down the Chaman and Torkham (Khyber Pass) border crossings to Nato supply convoys, boycott of the Bonn conference and US evacuation of Shamsi Airbase in Balochistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Dec 13, 2011 - 2:17PM

    They will strike soon.. and strike harder. Just a matter of few days.


  • Alla Uddin Bacer
    Dec 13, 2011 - 2:22PM

    The only solution to is to stop the Air strik against pakistani citizens, everyone know the international politics between pakistan and amrica here in pakistan.
    if Amrica wants rebuild the situation will stop air strike against civilian population of pakistan.


  • shuja
    Dec 13, 2011 - 2:46PM

    They are only on hold.They will resume when our arms twisting brings + results in their favour.


  • Sk
    Dec 13, 2011 - 3:03PM

    Alright so its on hold, which means that anytime in future american can start this filthy killing again. Wake up Pakistan and don’t trust these war mongers and also why you guys have allowed them to construct on your land the world’s largest embassy? It clearly shows that shamsi base and NATO supply block is not everything and they have many other ways to fulfill their filthy mission. They are still controlling you guys by living inside your land. Not they have 250 houses in that embassy and also they have all war supplies inside that huge embassy. And are you sure that Pakistan only provided shamsi base for drones and nothing else?


  • Shayan
    Dec 13, 2011 - 3:42PM

    So it could be that the Shamsi airbase was instrumental in the drone attacks.


  • Shyam
    Dec 13, 2011 - 3:56PM

    They mean soon drones will be replaced by f-22s


  • Omar
    Dec 13, 2011 - 3:59PM

    The result of stopping NATO supply lines!! They know if they strike again, we will not open their supply.
    Today, we Pakistanis are in a position to say “are you with us or against us”!!!


  • Shahid Kureshi
    Dec 13, 2011 - 3:59PM

    It would be premature to assume that these strikes have stopped due to vacation of Shamsi Airfield in Balochistan. The real reason maybe the recent development in Iran. The drone that the Iranian forces have brought down shows no damage at all; meaning thereby that it did not crash but was brought down by intercepting its computer controls. Hacking at its best. This lull may be to take stock of this serious development which may lead to shelving of the whole program.


  • j. von hettlingen
    Dec 13, 2011 - 4:30PM

    That the Americans put their drone attacks on hold is not because of the raid in Abbottabad in May and the Nato attack on Pakistan’s check posts on the borders. Since the downed drone was shown to the whole world in Teheran recently, the stealth technology of the aircraft has become vulnerable and the Americans are looking for a technical solution.


  • Malatesh
    Dec 13, 2011 - 4:31PM

    Like I said in my previous posts, US is just halting its operation tempororily. I bet here even soon Pakistan will allow drone strikes with some conditions.


  • Umair Mallick
    Dec 13, 2011 - 5:05PM

    Now this will allow the terrorists to roam around tribal areas freely. Is this what we really want? May be we should finally wake up and realise those killers are out there to finally kills us and the innocent people in supermarkets, bazars, mosques etc. If you want to stop Americans to kill them with drones, you need to come up with the plan how to deal with this or be ready to die sooner or later. Do not breed snakes in your home!! Do not forget past!!


  • Ram
    Dec 13, 2011 - 5:09PM

    If Pakistan thinks US will hold it for a longer period, they will be fooling themselves. After all US has never publicly acknowledged their crimes and they get over all the protests emanating from any corner


  • Jadugar
    Dec 13, 2011 - 7:48PM

    As said ”Its just on hold ” till US gets its intelligence back on tract without Pakistan’s help, lets not fool ourselves thinking US and NATO will change their policy because Pakistan got upset. They will not hesitate to do this again, We need to stop making excuses and retaliate if need be.


  • Dec 13, 2011 - 10:15PM

    As the US-Pakistan connection keeps on to disentangle, the US has put its secretive breeze drive that targets Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Pakistan’s tribal firms “on keep.”

    Read More :

  • Dec 14, 2011 - 1:56AM

    @Pakistani Hindu:
    In case they continued the trend and once again tried to cross the limitation
    history is witness they were disappeared from the earth by the Allah Almighty.
    Who is a single superior power on the entire universe,including sun,stars and moon.


  • Dec 14, 2011 - 2:03AM

    They never dare to make a mistake.
    orders has been issued for aggressive position.
    have seen repeatedly requested for come to the negotiation table.
    but they are not ready to work on the old salary.


  • Dec 14, 2011 - 2:10AM

    More than 10 years on.
    single superpower still failed to overcome the situation.
    What they would do without Pakistani assistance?remained in hell.
    Pakistan is very important stake holder in the solution.


  • Dec 14, 2011 - 2:16AM

    Minor mistake or wrong policy may become the main reason of nuclear war.
    do you agree or disagree on this?
    American presence in the region,Iran China and Russia have their own reservations.
    American must get from Afghanistan out as soon may be.


  • Abdul Kader
    Dec 16, 2011 - 9:55AM

    A question to GHQ. If you were strong enough to resist as you claim now, why did you not take these steps earlier? I question your motives. Recommend

  • Wasim
    Dec 16, 2011 - 12:00PM

    I think Pakistan with the help of China has developed technology to hack the drones to bring it down. Remember the crashed Stealth helicopter after the Abbottabad raid? The U.S. drone in Iranian hands is not damaged. Put the two to two together and you will realize why there has been no drone attacks on Pakistan lately.


  • Ram
    Dec 16, 2011 - 1:55PM

    @Wasim – US is just restraining to avoid further damage to its relations with Pakistan. If relations with Pak don’t improve within a reasonable time, US will resume Drone attacks to kill the terrorists inside Pakistan. The helicopter tail wouldn’t have helped you. Same is the case with Iran who can never make drones.


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