No drone strikes in Pakistan after 2014, none at least launched from Afghanistan

Published: April 6, 2012
Zalmay Rassoul says only foreign troops to remain in Afghanistan post 2014 pull out will be trainers. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Zalmay Rassoul says only foreign troops to remain in Afghanistan post 2014 pull out will be trainers. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

DUBAI: Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasool said on Thursday that his country would not be used as a launching pad for US drones attacks on neighbouring countries after NATO combat forces leave by the end of 2014.         

“Afghan soil will not be used against any country in the region,” Rasool told Al Jazeera television when asked if Washington would be allowed to launch drone strikes against Pakistan after the troops’ withdrawal.

US-operated drones have carried out deadly missile strikes against suspected al Qaeda targets in Pakistan since 2004, with attacks peaking in 2010.

“The presence of the remaining forces in Afghanistan is for training, equipping and securing Afghanistan’s security. It has been mentioned, it is going to be mentioned, that this force is not for use against any neighbours in the region,” Rasool told the Doha-based channel.

Rasool was in Qatar for talks over the opening of Taliban office in Doha.

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Reader Comments (40)

  • Apr 6, 2012 - 1:22AM

    I salute u!, Afghans have more courage then Pakistan, shame on our so-called leaders and commanders u gave your own military bases to americans for carrying drone strikes on tribal areas which killed thousands of innocents and Muslims


  • bangash
    Apr 6, 2012 - 1:26AM

    Drone strikes in Pakistan are not an issue for Afghans. Don’t know the angle of this statement by Afghan foreign minister but I would not bank on it too much.


  • Babloo
    Apr 6, 2012 - 1:31AM

    Instead of drones, its will be missiles launched from ships stationed in the Arabian Sea , off the coast Karachi.


  • Black-Belt
    Apr 6, 2012 - 1:39AM

    great newsfor Pakistanies worldwide


  • blithe
    Apr 6, 2012 - 2:13AM

    Wise move.

    Afghanistan are neighbours bound by inextricable ties.
    It is time that we take care of our own region.

    Paksitan should , on principle , not allow NATO supplies (unless the request is vociferously made directly by Afgan Govt). Similarly, Afganistan should not give santuaries to American and Indian sponsored miscreants and drone strikes .


  • Cautious
    Apr 6, 2012 - 2:25AM

    If things deteriorate in Afghanistan after 2014 (as expected) – then the USA isn’t going to ask your permission.


  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Apr 6, 2012 - 2:25AM

    It is not up to Pakistan or Afghanistan to decide regarding the drone attack. Bottom line is that they are tool in restoring law and order in a global village and either you restore a law and order or global village will do it for you. It is up to pass the buck or accept that buck stop on my desk. It is not important from where they will be launed but they will be in your air spce.


  • saady
    Apr 6, 2012 - 2:35AM

    I think then Pakistan will again have to offer its own bases again lol.


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Apr 6, 2012 - 4:02AM

    After NATO pull out, Taliban will capture Afghanistan within weeks. As they don’t have Drones, therefore no Drone stikes will be launched from Afghanistan.


  • Mullah vs Mullah
    Apr 6, 2012 - 4:04AM

    I hope the last drone is equipped with nuke to take out all terrorist institutions in Pakistan. Ah doesn’t that mean whole Pakistan ?


  • Pak electeds
    Apr 6, 2012 - 4:41AM

    Now wait for statements from Pak leaders against Drone. And people to compare it with Nato supplies. All I can see in Pakistan is people oppose, condemn, deny, but no one has credible solution (non emotional) to solve the problem.


  • Apr 6, 2012 - 5:50AM

    Does Mr. Rasool’s statement have sanction of the Afghan parliament or president? There has certainly been no motion by either of them to limit US drone strikes now or post-2014. So is this Qatar statement just meant to say what Taliban want to hear in order to come to the negotiating table? I’m certain that if negotiations fail, all such promises will be off.


  • John B
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:12AM

    Here is the irony 1 . PAK used her soil to launch operations against soviet with US aid. Now AFG is using her soil to launch operations against PAK with US aid and with US forces.

    Irony 2: PAK used her soil to launch LeT against India. US and India have bounty on LeT head now.

    Who said history is no fun ?


  • Tony C.
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:15AM

    This statement means precisely nothing for the innocent men, women and children of Pakistan who can still be killed, or sometimes worse incapacitated, by drones or other types of ordnance delivered from a variety of launch points. I have pointed out many times that the Americans use so called depleted nuclear weaponry in a variety of forms, so they will continue to pollute the Pakistan countryside and therefore make large parts of it unsuitable to live in. Of course it should be realized that wherever the nuclear pollution occurs it creates very fine particles, which will spread all over the country to be breathed in by everybody. I suppose it will be poetic justice that the military and our leaders will suffer from nuclear pollution in just the same way that we do.


  • khan
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:21AM

    afghans prove their mettle.. great to hear this. Compare this with spineless politicians and sleeping establishment here


  • Skeptical
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:34AM

    They are saying this hoping that Pakistan will give up its support for taliban. lol. Pakistan will always stand shoulder to shoulder with freedom fighters.Recommend

  • Ayesha Khan
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:42AM

    @Cautious: “If things deteriorate in Afghanistan after 2014 (as expected) – then the USA isn’t going to ask your permission.”

    More likely scenario. If things deteriorate, in Pakistan and Afghanistan does not provide a base, then independent Balochistan will become a reaiity. The Gwadar port also would serve as away to bring in supplies.

    I am not hoping or wishing this should happen but just foreseeing this as a realistic option for the Americans. A way that they can keep an oversight on Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan without having their soldeirs attacked.


  • Faesal
    Apr 6, 2012 - 7:23AM

    Neither we will ask permission to bring hell’s fury on indians. You know if we are doomed, we will take the enemy down too :)


  • Vinayak
    Apr 6, 2012 - 8:02AM

    He just said this in the nicest possible way – Till 2014 there might be drone strikes on Pakistan, which will be launched from Afghanistan.


  • Apr 6, 2012 - 8:48AM

    Don’t worry, be happy: Drones can easily be launched from ships in the Arabian Sea.


  • Siddiq
    Apr 6, 2012 - 9:56AM

    Afghanistan has been a good friend of Pakistan throughout the history. What he is saying is just words, but let see their actions when the time will come.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Apr 6, 2012 - 10:06AM

    Please do NOT stop drone strikes in Pakistan – they must be increased to cover the inner cities as well where known extremists live in full knowledge of the authorities. The bottom line is our government tolerates terrorists and a large proportion of our public pampers them. As we are not willing to do the job ourselves we need to continue to outsource this activity. Pakistan will never be the land of the pure until we eradicate the mullah who preaches hate and teaches murder.


  • zehra
    Apr 6, 2012 - 10:32AM

    as if there is gurantee 2014 america will go?


  • Pinto
    Apr 6, 2012 - 10:48AM

    That’s not fair


  • Imran
    Apr 6, 2012 - 11:02AM

    We need drones to stop the terrorists. Drones r very accurate n the only thing the terrorists r afraid of. Please don’t stop them. Rather then feeling sorry fr the people who die in drone attacks, feel sorry for the people who die in bomb blasts.


  • Mir
    Apr 6, 2012 - 11:55AM

    2014??? Does Mr Rassoul know where he will be by then?


  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 6, 2012 - 11:56AM

    If this is so and you are truly sincere and honest for your neighbor countries then why not now????????


  • Apr 6, 2012 - 12:11PM

    No drone strikes in Pakistan after 2014, none at least launched from Afghanistan

    But still, there will be drone attacks taking place, probably launching from Chaklala airbase or from the newly built airfield in the US Embassy Islamabad.


  • Nahmed
    Apr 6, 2012 - 2:16PM

    If Afghanistan don’t want Pakistan to use its soil against it now then why they are telling the world that they will not allow anyone to use their territory against Pakistan ONLY AFTER 2014. That means Pakistan should allow Taliban to use its terrotory against occupation forces till 2014. Why they want to allow USA to do what they don;t want us to do. DOUBLE STANDARD.


  • AIN
    Apr 6, 2012 - 3:16PM

    strong textemphasized text”No drone strikes in Pakistan after 2014, none at least launched from Afghanistan”

    Yes there will be nodrone if there Pakistan will be left on the glob with its current map


  • kaalchakra
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:18PM


    No one can say that Pakistan should not use Afghan land for launching attacks on other countries. Afghan is a brotherly country. Pakistan is free to use Afghan land for all purposes that are strategic to it – against Russia, Iran, India, or whoever else.


  • Freeman
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @Ayesha Khan: yOU MEAN Pakistani and Iranian security services will sit down and watch this happening and will do nothing????. When American will mess in this way in this region then USA will go more down and will lose everything. My dear they are trying this for the last 10 years still not successful. If it was easier thing to do then they would have done ages ago AND Gowader port would have fall in hand in America. Even American ships are in Arabian Sea they will never try to mess in the Regional powers including Pakistan. As soon as they will try they will lose their own position in this region and then war will not be limited and it will go global.


  • Freeman
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:35PM

    @AIN: You have every right to dream but i think you should check your own countrys mess and correct it. It might happen with your own country.

    @kaalchakra: Pakistan does not need to use anyother territory to launch Attack on any neibhour. Pakistan is working with it neibhours and have good relationship with them Including IRAN, CHINA, AFGHANISTAN AND nOW INDIA. Aghanis know that America is not this regions country and one day they will return and go away and we have to have good relationship with the neibhours.


  • Anjaan
    Apr 6, 2012 - 7:56PM

    An intelligent move from the Afghans ……….. !

    In this case the Americans will have no choice but make a Drone base in Pakistan conditional on their tens of billions of aid to Pakistan.

    Let the Pakistanis decide what they want ………. !Recommend

  • Umer
    Apr 6, 2012 - 11:08PM

    So that means the afghan govt. will allow strikes BEFORE 2014 lol.


  • DeMullahlizer
    Apr 7, 2012 - 9:57AM


    Afghanistan is not a brother country to Pakistan never was never will be. Stop deluding yourselves, we have nothing in common with any of the ethnic groups in Pakistan including the Pashtuns.


  • Harry Stone
    Apr 7, 2012 - 10:17AM

    Actually this will depend a great deal on whether this POTUS serves a second term. Should he not, then the new POTUS might decide that 2014 is no longer a valid date.


  • Devin Leonard
    Apr 9, 2012 - 1:38AM

    Afghanistan needs the US more then we need Afghanistan. If we want to conduct drone strikes Afghanistan will allow it…they will have no choice. One does not say no to the world’s most powerfull country and military:)


  • Tony C.
    Apr 9, 2012 - 5:30AM

    @Devin Leonard:
    Dear Devin,
    I do not recall the Afghans inviting the U.S. into Afghanistan. However, it is noticeable that you did not mention the morality of U.S. activity in Afghanistan.


  • AIN
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:45AM

    BTW I am from Lahore & Pakistani punjabi and please be realistic rather then sheer optimistic. Have u ever visit any religious sermon in which other sects are being declared as “wajib ul qatal”,have u ever talked with any Bloch in queeta…u can even observe anger from their face. What’s going on in interior sindh on the name of sindhu dash,Gilglit Baltistan in on fire… u still think that we need any other enemy???
    Its time to be wake up and to do some soild things rather to assume that nothing will happen to Pakistan.
    There is heat in afghanistan and it will go against the pak in future..Thanks to Zia who made taliban and now they are ready to eat pakistan.


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