US military presence in Quetta: Pakistan denies allowing drone strikes

Published: November 26, 2010
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FO spokesperson Abdul Basit denies reports, says the US has been asked to revise drone policy

FO spokesperson Abdul Basit denies reports, says the US has been asked to revise drone policy

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday categorically denied allowing drone strikes in Balochistan saying that the United States has, in fact, been asked to revise its policy.

“There is no question that Pakistan will allow drone attacks in Balochistan or any other part of the country,” Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit told a weekly media briefing in Islamabad. “We are asking the Obama administration to revisit its drone policy as it is counterproductive.”

However, the spokesman did not comment when asked about media reports suggesting that Pakistan’s military leadership had permitted the US to maintain the presence of its Marines in Quetta, the city that Washington claims is being used by Afghan Taliban as a launching pad for their cross-border attacks.

Basit said that Pakistan welcomed last week’s announcement by Nato that it would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in phases but cautioned that it should not be in a way that plunges the war-torn country into a long civil war.

“We do not expect coalition forces to stay in Afghanistan forever,” he said, maintaining that Pakistan would welcome the withdrawal as and when it happens.

“But we do not want Afghanistan left in a situation that there is propensity of plunging into chaos and anarchy once coalition forces are gone. We hope by 2014 they would be able to develop the Afghanistan army and other security forces to take control of the country,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • J.Oberoi
    Nov 26, 2010 - 10:27AM

    “Drone attacks are counter-productive” for whom? Pakistan’s carefully nurtured “strategic asset” is now being dismantled – one drone strike at a time. Obviously that will not go down well with the Pakistani establishment. The only option they have is shooting down the drones.Recommend

  • Loyalist
    Nov 26, 2010 - 10:41AM

    Do FO spokesman has any say in foreign policy? Our armed forced dictates foreign policies and has permitted US to attack drones wherever they want. Till the time we have men in uniforms working for US, this country would remain doomed.Recommend

  • G.Khan
    Nov 26, 2010 - 11:25AM

    There is 3rd option too.LOL
    Let Afghans Kick them in Afghanistan. They are doing it well. Its working. A withdrawl schedule approved by NATO and ISAF after 10 years of long war in which they failed like their Cousins (British Empire and Soviet Empire) failed. Isn’t it amazing? Its sad that desires of one of our neighbor did not materialize though they have done everything possible, first rode on the shoulders of Soviets and now sitting in American lap and launching covert operations from Afghanistan. Well, sometimes not all desires materialize.LOL.
    Drone attacks are the sign of weakness not strength and it’s highly doubtful what results they have achieved so far? Because if they were successful then the Afghan resistance should have weakened. Just the opposite happened which forced NATO and US to come up with withdrawl schedule. If they were winning then why to withdraw? Whatever it is, JUST ONE THING IS CLEAR. US & NATO have lost the war already and with them some of their allies who are not visible but hide behind them. LOL.
    I think I just forgot about the supply line. I don’t remember where it passes through.LOLRecommend

  • Ammar
    Nov 26, 2010 - 12:28PM

    Spkesman: “There is no question that Pakistan will allow drone attacks in Balochistan or any other part of the country,”

    I wonder if Wazirsitan and Northern areas are not part of Pakistan. :O
    Pakisatn has to think about that, it shouldn’t allow anybody to attack in its premises.

    Pak army has potential to counter terrorists, so why US allowed to hit Pakistani areas. This shows the inability from the part of Governemtn.

    Jaagooo!!!!Recommend

  • R. Khan
    Nov 26, 2010 - 12:43PM

    Our “strategic asset” have become “Strategic Liability” for us!Recommend

  • Someone
    Nov 26, 2010 - 1:26PM

    After Balochistan, Punjab is next. Watch out Lahoris!Recommend

  • Rosh
    Nov 26, 2010 - 1:43PM

    Pakistan army has never ventured in the tribal areas, It seems now even Quetta is OUT of BONDS for the PAKIS. Wonder how a country can label a region in its maps when it has never EVER been in control of a land!

    For all PRACTICAL REASONS

    BALOCHISTAN

    SINDHUDESH

    PAKHTUNISTAN

    are Independent countries!Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Nov 26, 2010 - 2:52PM

    @G.Khan, I presume you have done your research on how Afghanistan keeps ‘winning’ wars? Let me refresh you. In the Soviets invasion of Afghanistan, the Afghans lost over 10,00,000 (1 million) mujahideen and the Soviets lost 40,000 troops. Who ‘lost’ the war? It was another matter that the Soviets could not afford to pay for that war. But it makes me laugh when I read that the Afghans defeated the Soviets. The same thing is happening now. Afghans have never won ANY war against anybody. They just keep on sending their men into battle – wave after wave. What they don’t do is surrender in a war. That’s the long and short of it.Recommend

  • Amer
    Nov 26, 2010 - 5:07PM

    After we read the comments by Indian like Rosh & Oberoi here, can someone please remind us again that the Indians have nothing against Pakistan, they mean no harm, they couldn’t care less etc etc and all the other BS. And that now we should just cut all of our military budget and think about trade with India. What a joke! Recommend

  • Jawed Akhtar
    Nov 26, 2010 - 5:38PM

    Untill & unless Pakistan starts telling truth, it cannot save itself.
    Till sometime back Pakistan had been saying that without any permission, USA is flying its CRONES. But know it has acknowledged that this permission was given by the last dictator. It is once again trying to hold the truth from its public. it is ok to lie to the world. But at least speak truth to your nation.
    Since the time of your birth, you have been lying to the world, to your nation. For how long will you lie…????? This habit has brought you to the present state of condition. When the world community is simply not believing you at your face value. Whether it is your fight for terrorism, or giving you aid money. You are even poisoning the minds of your children by lying through school books. Tell them straight that it was Pakistan which had initiated 4 wars with India & every time your army had to retreat back with heavy losses. Recommend

  • Nauman Khalid
    Nov 26, 2010 - 9:32PM

    @J Oberoi don’t you think that the last man standing in the ring wins? I guess that’s why they say that. Recommend

  • shehryar ahmed
    Nov 27, 2010 - 12:59AM

    @ Jawed Akhtar @ u should go and do some more research on what u have just said @ well the truth is that permission was given for unmanned aircraft only for surveilance and bombing permission was not given @ if u go back and do some research it was in 2004 that permission was given for servielance and the reason was that they wanted to share intelingence information which would be authentic and usefull for pakistan to find out about the AL-QAEDA hiding in the remote areas of bordering afghanistan @ so when they started bombing with unmanned aircrafts pakistan did question them and pakistan is still questioning them to stop and that is why they did not allow for quetta this time around and also by bombing they wanted to drag pakistan more in a situation that they will have a direct conflict with pakistan @ since 2004 there has been some 200 drone attacks and as per pentagon report they say that AL-QAEDA has 100 fighters in afghanistan and 200 fighters are in pakistan so if u look at the attacks and the fighters then they must have eradicated them till now but there motives are not finishing AL_QAEDA but real motive is destroying and destabalize pakistan and create chaos and civil war kinda situation so that they can intervene and make pakistan another iraq but so far things are not out of control cuase when they are out of control then you wont be writing this and nor will i be writting this @ so my message to all of you people just support your country and stop pointing fingers and pakistan will do whatever is in there interest@ Do you know who is supporing and training TTP? well its not pakistan obiously but the big powers are paying them and supporting them @ another thing is that this region is just like a big gound or field and all the big powers are behind the seen and they are playing a war game or i would say they are playing chess and we are the board but the players are more than two @Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Nov 27, 2010 - 8:11AM

    @Amer, Let the truth be told. All I want is for the bloodshed to stop – which means just that. Don’t go around presuming stuff.Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Nov 27, 2010 - 8:18AM

    Besides @Amer, I don’t want Pakistan to cut their military budget. On the contrary, I want them to increase it. I just want my country to keep increasing its military spending and for Pakistan to try to keep parity with us. I will be curious to know how long Pakistan can keep up with that kind of spending with the economy they have.Recommend

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