CIA preparing to expand drone attacks inside Pak under Obama’s new strategyDecember 4th, 2009 - 5:18 pm ICT by ANI
New York, Dec.4 (ANI): While President Obama has decided to send in more troops to Afghanistan to facilitate the ‘war on terror’ in that country, he is also planning to allow the CIA to expand the drone attacks in Pakistan, which he considers as the terror ‘hot bed’.
According to administrative officials, Obama is aware about the expanding threat from Pakistan based outlawed organisations, and has therefore signed off a plan by the Central Intelligence Agency to expand C.I.A. activities in that country.
The CIA’s plan includes expanding of drone attacks in the lawless tribal region along the Pakistan Afghanistan border and sending more spies.
“The C.I.A. plan calls for widening the campaign of strikes against militants by drone aircraft, sending additional spies to Pakistan and securing a White House commitment to bulk up the C.I.A.’s overall budget for operations inside the country,” The New York Times reported.
Officials said the enhanced operations could well see more drone attacks in areas, including Balochistan, where top Afghan Taliban commanders are believed to have taken refuge.
While Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has denied the presence of Al-Qaeda’s leadership in the country, US officials have raised concerns regarding Al-Qaeda lending support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) against India.
Addressing a hearing on President Obama’s revamped Afghan strategy at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Al-Qaeda is supporting LeT against India in order to create further disturbances in the region.
“Al Qaida is providing them (LeT) with targeting information and helping them in their plotting in India, clearly with the idea of provoking a conflict between India and Pakistan that would destabilise Pakistan,” Gates said.
Insiders also said that American officials are in talks with Islamabad about the possibility of striking in Balochistan, as they believe that the Afghan Taliban leaders were hiding in the region.
However, it is unlikely that Pakistan would openly support Washington’s view over expanding drone attacks to Balochistan, as a large number of Pakistanis consider the missile strikes counterproductive, and said it does more harm than good. (ANI)
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