UAVs Target Militants In Disputed Border Region
For over four years, US unmanned
aerial vehicles have made regular strikes against targets on
Pakistani soil, despite the fact that country is
technically an ally in the war on terrorism. On Wedensday,
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said those attacks
In an interview with CNN, Gilani said those attacks serve only
to fuel militant extremism in Pakistan's tribal border region... an
area Pakistan holds little real authority over. The prime
minister's comments came five days after two UAV strikes near the
country's border with Afghanistan, which killed at least 17 people
according to Gilani.
The Pakistani leader also strongly objected to comments made by
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday, stating the country's
leaders were aware of the strikes... a veiled assertion that
Pakistan may have been complicit in the attacks, and one Gilani
"I want to put on record that we do not have any agreement
between the government of the United States and the government of
Pakistan," Gilani said Wednesday from the World Economic Forum. "If
there are any drone attacks these would be counter-productive...
Therefore we ask that if they have credible and actionable
information, they share it with our intelligence agencies and we
will take action ourselves."
US leaders counter Pakistan hasn't done enough to quell militant
actions in the disputed border region, despite Gilani's assertions
his government is "successfully isolating the militants from the
"But when there is one drone attack then you get them united,"
he added. "There is a lot of anti-American sentiment growing in
Gilani also pleaded for more US-sourced weapons, saying military
aid to his country shouldn't be tied to Pakistan's effectiveness
combating terrorism in the border region.
"We have the ability and we have even the will but we don't have
the capacity," he told CNN. "The world is focusing on Afghanistan;
they have the most sophisticated weapons in the world -- and our
poor people they are fighting without any arms or ammunition. NATO
is having a very, very tough time in Afghanistan. We are also
fighting a very tough fight."