Washington, May 13 (ANI): In a significant move, Pakistan for the first time ‘officially’ has allowed US Predator drone aircrafts to fly inside its geographical territory to carry out missile strikes against the Taliban and other extremist groups.
Under the new partnership, U.S. drones will be allowed for the first time to venture beyond the borders of Afghanistan into Pakistan’s territory under the direction of Pakistani military officials.
Pakistan military officials are working with American counterparts at a command center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, The Los Angeles Times reports.
The United States said that it has initiated the program to help Pakistan enhance their capabilities to counter the threat from the Taliban, which is threatening the country’s existence.
“This is about building trust. This is about giving them capabilities they do not currently have to help them defeat this radical extreme element that is in their country,” a senior U.S. military official said.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, recently, reiterated demands for own fleet of Predators, but U.S. officials had ruled out the possibility providing drones to Islamabad.
However, US officials are now describing the new joint operation as an ‘effective compromise.’
Islamabad, which has been denying reports about Pakistan allowing the drones to fly from air-base within the country to carry out attacks in the lawless tribal region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, has now also admitted that such a bilateral program in is place.
Pakistan officials admitted that they were working with U.S. officials to better utilize the American technology. (ANI)