Washington: Gen David Petraeus will now control drone campaign directly against Pakistan, which is largely blamed for straining ties between the two countries and for killing innocent tribesman on Pak-Afghan border.
The New York Times quoted Pakistani and US officials as saying that the appointment of Petraeus as CIA honcho could further inflame relations between the two countries which are already one of their lowest points.
The newspaper further noted that Pakistan’s military leadership does not regard Petraeus as a friend, adding that the Chief of Pakistan’s army Gen Kayani, a reserved man, calls him a political general
It noted officials on both sides say they expect the two nations’ relationship to become increasingly adversarial as they maneuver the endgame in Afghanistan, where Pakistan and the United States have deep — and conflicting — security interests.
The NY Times quoted a sources as saying that the US has been asked by Pakistan to remove its unmanned air crafts and personnel Shamsi air base, about 200 miles southwest of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan Province, where some of the drones are based.
The withdrawal has not occurred but is expected soon and the drone attacks would then be flown out of Afghanistan, where some of them are already based, the official said.
Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agency are increasingly embarrassed by the United States’ drone campaign.