Pakistani officials have spoken out publicly against the drone attacks saying they violate the nation’s sovereignty and provide support for the militants, but in private government officials are said to condone the drone operations, reports the BBC. Since the beginning of this year there have been at least six suspected US drone attacks in the restive North Waziristan region of Pakistan.
Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal writes that the current pace of suspected US air strikes in Pakistan is “unprecedented.” Since the US began conducting drone attacks in Pakistan in 2004, there have never been more attacks within a 15-day period. Additionally, since this summer, the US air effort in Pakistan appears to be shifting from South Waziristan to North Waziristan. Over the past six weeks, US drone attacks are believed to have killed five senior Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters on Wednesday that he had established some “red lines” with Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, that he hopes the US will not cross. Mr. Qureshi also warned that if the US intensifies its drone attacks or launches any ground operations in Pakistan, it will harm relations between the two nations, reports The Daily Times of Pakistan.