`Pakistan ends US use of base for drone attacks`
Singapore: Pakistan has stopped the United States from using an air base in the southwest of the country to launch drone strikes against militant groups, the defence minister was quoted as saying, as ties remain strained between the two countries.
Pakistan has long publicly opposed the missile attacks as a violation of its sovereignty, but has in private given support including intelligence to help target members of al Qaeda and the Taliban in the northwest region along the Afghan border.
The Financial Times quoted Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar as saying that Pakistan had ended US drone flights out of Shamsi base in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, long reported to have been used for the covert war against militants.
"No US flights are taking place from Shamsi any longer. If there have to be flights from the base, it will only be Pakistani flights," Mukhtar told the newspaper.
Ties between the countries, strained since the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA agent in January, suffered a further setback after US SEALs killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a secret raid last month that Pakistani officials said further breached its sovereignty.
Pakistan`s Army has drastically cut down the number of US troops allowed in the country and set clear limits on intelligence sharing with the United States, reflecting its anger over what it sees as continuing US interference in its affairs.
Washington had been asked to remove all its infrastructure from the Shamsi air base, the Financial Times cited an unidentified Pakistan official as saying. The official, though, said no drone flights had taken off from the base since 2009.
Since US President Barack Obama took office, drone strikes have been stepped up, focused on the Waziristan region in northwest Pakistan, a hub for militants from around the world.
These attacks have further intensified since bin Laden`s killing which reinforced suspicion in the United States that elements of Pakistan`s security establishment may have helped hide him.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Exiled Kashmiri Pandits share their heart wrenching stories
- Basic ideals of Constitution are in danger: Sonia Gandhi
- PM Modi greets nation on occasion of first Constitution Day
- Manjula Vaghela's journey: From rag picker to head of a firm with Rs 1 cr turnover!
- Indian Army faces shortage of field firing ranges in J&K
- Woman commits suicide after heated discussion with husband over Aamir Khan's intolerance remark
- Intolerance issue: Those attacking me are only proving my point, says Aamir Khan – Read full statement
- Eat smart to slow down ageing and increase longevity!
- Setback to Kejriwal-led AAP as MLA Akhilesh Tripathi arrested in riot case
- 10 interesting facts about Constitution which every Indian must know