Pakistan Tells U.S. to Halt Drones
Pakistan has privately demanded the Central Intelligence Agency suspend drone strikes against militants on its territory, one of the U.S.’s most effective weapons against al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, officials said.
Pakistan has also asked the U.S. to reduce the number of U.S. intelligence and Special Operations personnel in the country, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.
The U.S. strategy in the war in Afghanistan hinges on going after militants taking refuge in Pakistan. The breakdown in intelligence cooperation has cast a pall over U.S.-Pakistani relations, with some officials in both countries saying intelligence ties are at their lowest point since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks spurred the alliance.
Beyond the Afghan battlefield, officials believe that without a robust counterterrorism relationship with Pakistan, al Qaeda and other groups can operate with far greater impunity when planning attacks on the U.S. and Europe. The vast majority of attacks against the West in the last decade originated in Pakistan.
Relations have been under heightened strain since Pakistan’s arrest in January of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was jailed after killing two armed Pakistani men in Lahore on Jan. 27. Mr. Davis was released last month, but the case fueled Pakistani resentment over the presence of U.S. operatives in their country.