Obama Cuts Back Drone Strikes In Pakistan During Taliban Talks
Reportedly, the Obama Administration has drastically halted drone strikes in Pakistan. This apparently comes from a request by the Pakistan government for restraint as they continue talks with the Pakistani Taliban. Both sides deny that any formal agreement took place, but the two governments are set to meet next Tuesday in Islamabad.
The Obama administration has cut back sharply on drone strikes in Pakistan after the government there asked for restraint as it pursues peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
“That’s what they asked for, and we didn’t tell them no,” one U.S. official told the newspaper. The report said the administration has indicated it will still carry out strikes against senior Al Qaeda targets targets and move to thwart any immediate threat to Americans.
The American drone program is unpopular in Pakistan because it is perceived as killing innocent civilians, which the U.S. denies. Pakistan’s request may help explain an apparent lull in American drone strikes since December, The Post reported.
The Post said a senior administration official denied that any informal agreement had been reached with the Islamabad government, saying that “the issue of whether to negotiate with the Pakistani Taliban is entirely an internal matter for Pakistan.”