Admit 'tacit approval' to drone strikes: US to Pak

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Washington, Jul 11: The United States has asked Pakistan to publicly accept its tacit approval to the drone strikes being carried out in its 'lawless' tribal region along the Afghan border, as its consistent denial on the issue is creating new tensions with Washington.

According to The Dawn, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, told a Congressional hearing recently that the attacks would not have taken place without the 'tacit approval' of the Pakistani leadership, so it was wrong on Islamabad's part to blame the US for the missile hits.

"For them to look the other way or to give us the green light privately and then to attack us publicly leaves us, it seems to me, at a very severe disadvantage and loss with the Pakistani people," said Senator Levin.

Officials said that despite Pakistan's double faced attitude on the issue, the US is working to develop a new strategy to reduce stirring tension between both the countries.

US Deputy Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Paul Jones told the panel that Washington was developing new strategies to quell the tension.

He refused to furbish much details of the strategy, but added that strategic communications were an important part of it.

"The United States plans to 'increase quite significantly' aid to Pakistan to help the government with its own communications strategy," said Jones.

Pakistan has been criticizing the Obama administration for the drone strikes against the insursents in the tribal areas, saying that the attacks are proving 'counterproductive' in its war on terror, as they had killed far more civilians than militants.

Official Pakistani sources claimed that since 2006, the drones have killed 700 civilians and only 14 militants.

ANI

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