Islamabad: According to a Guardian newspaper report published on Tuesday, American special forces conducted multiple clandestine raids into Pakistan`s tribal areas. These raids were a part of a secret operation in the border region where Washington is pressing to expand its drone assassination programme.
According to a a former Nato officer, “The incursions, only one of which has been previously reported, occurred between 2003 and 2008, involved helicopter-borne elite soldiers stealing across the border at night, and were never declared to the Pakistani government.”
The source also said, "The Pakistanis were kept entirely in the dark about it. It was one of those things we wouldn`t confirm officially with them."
It should be noted that after the only publicly acknowledged special forces raid in September 2008, Pakistan`s foreign office termed it "a grave provocation" and the military threatened retaliatory action.
The military source also said that was the fourth raid of previous years in which were "high-value targets" of Taliban and al-Qaeda, while the third was to rescue a crashed Predator drone.
He said that while one of the capture raids succeeded, the other failed.
The US sent elite soldiers to the downed Predator because they did not trust Pakistani forces. "People were afraid they would take the parts and reverse- engineer its components," he said.
The secretive nature of the raids underscores the suspicious nature of the relationship between the two allies as they argue about Washington`s latest demands.