US-Pakistan working to develop joint ownership of drone strikes: Report
After the joint-sitting of the parliament unanimously approved an end to drone strikes, Pakistan and the United States (US) have been mulling for joint-sharing of spy attacks to target militants in tribal region of the country.
A report published in Dawn quoting sources observed, “We are striving to have genuine co-ownership of the drone operations”. According to the report, the two countries discussed host of proposals including a real-time intelligence sharing and evidence sharing notification of spy strikes.
The US had refused to end drone strikes, conveying to Pakistan on more than one occasion over the past few weeks, it added. The US rejected the proposal of Pakistani F-16 jets to target militants in the region.
The report added, “The Americans insist that drones are integral part of their counter-terrorism operations being best suited for this purpose”.
The latest development occurred after the government and parliament softened its position, delinking resumption of NATO supply-line with a halt to drone attacks.
A couple a days ago, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani omitted the agenda issue of drone strikes from agenda of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC).
While listing policy parameters for re-engagement with the US, the premier noted, “ Negotiation on new terms and conditions for resumption of the Ground Lines of Communication, joint counter-terrorism cooperation, greater inter-agency coordination, transparency in US diplomatic and intelligence footprint in Pakistan, strengthening of border security and non-use of Pakistan’s territory for attacks on other countries and expulsion of all foreign fighters from Pakistan’s territory, are our fundamental policy parameters”.
Moazzam Khan, the Foreign Office spokesperson tacitly accepted the shift saying, “Pakistan’s relations with the United States are very important. We want to address all issues on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest at the end of the day, the two countries will have to find some mutually acceptable grounds as to how we want to move forward”.
The report further claimed that there had been a sudden change in the position on attacks of US unmanned crafts, saying that the envoys conference, convened for providing input to the parliamentary review process also avoided commenting over it.
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