Obama`s drones, Gitmo speech welcomed in Pakistan, Yemen

Last Updated: Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 13:00

Washington: President Barack Obama`s speech on the use of drones and the fate of Guantanamo prisoners has been welcomed by two key countries affected by the policies - Pakistan and Yemen.

At the same time, Pakistani officials criticized Obama for not announcing an end to drone strikes against Islamic militants in the country in his landmark speech on Thursday, as they have long demanded.

According to the Washington Post, Obama said drone strikes are crucial to America`s counter terrorism efforts, but acknowledged that they are not a `cure-all`.

He also said he was deeply troubled by civilians unintentionally killing in the strikes and announced more restrictive rules governing the attacks.

On Guantanamo, Obama asked Congress to close the detention center in Cuba.

He even tried to jumpstart the process by announcing a fresh push to transfer approved detainees to their home countries and lifting a ban on transfers to Yemen.

An adviser to Yemen`s Prime Minister, Rageh Badi, praised Obama`s decision to lift the ban on the return of Yemeni detainees.

According to the report, Obama`s push to close Guantanamo was also welcomed in Pakistan, but the issue has less resonance in the country because there are fairly few Pakistanis left in the prison.

Pakistanis were much more focused on Obama`s comments about drone strikes since the country has been hit by 355 such attacks since 2004, which have killed up to 3,336 people, according to the New America Foundation, a US-based think tank, the report said.

The strikes are extremely unpopular in Pakistan, as the government officials have claimed that the attacks regularly kill innocent civilians.


First Published: Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 12:59

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