The Daily Times & AntiWar.com & The News – 2011-06-30 00:46:24
Pakistan Tells US to Leave ‘Drone’ Air Base
The Daily Times
RAWALPINDI (June 30, 2011) — Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said on Wednesday that Pakistan has told the United States to leave “drone” airbase.
“We have told them (the US officials) to leave the Shamsi airbase,” said the minister while talking to journalists at his office. He said the trust between the US and Pakistan had reduced to a great extent after the May 2 incident. “This mistrust could be reduced by sitting together and taking joint actions.” The minister pointed out that the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) had stopped its funding for the war on terror being fought in FATA that had been harming the countryâ€™s economy.
He said there was no need to change the military leadership against the backdrop of the Abbottabad incident. “The Inter-Services Intelligence’s director general had presented himself before parliament and offered resignation, but it reposed confidence into him,” he added.
Mukhtar said Pakistan’s nuclear assets were “safe” and were being “well maintained.” About the Pak-Russia defence cooperation, he said, it would depend on the results of forthcoming presidential elections in Russia. agencies.
Pakistan Air Force Chief: Forces Ready to Shoot Down US Drones
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(May 13, 2011) — Concerns that the US is once again escalating its attacks against Pakistan’s tribal areas appear all the stronger today, as drones attacked a vehicle in North Waziristan Agency, killing three suspects.
Future drone attacks might be a seriously risky matter, however, as Pakistan’s Air Force Chief of Staff Marshal Rao Suleman reported that the air force is now prepared to shoot down future drones if given authorization to do so by the Zardari government.
The drones have been hugely unpopular in Pakistan, and the government has recently issued repeated demands for their halt. The fact that the attacks have continued and escalated have put the Pakistani military into a position of needing to assert itself.
Marshal Suleman also revealed an unusual fact about the drone flights, which have come out of an air base in Balochistan. According to Suleman, the Shamsi Air Base has actually been under the control of the United Arab Emirates since the 1990s.
Drones To Be Struck Down on Orders: Air Chief
ISLAMABAD (May 13, 2011) — Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman Friday said that drones entering Pakistani air space would be struck down if such orders were issued (to the Pakistan Air Force), Geo News reported.
The Air Chief said this in reply to a question during the in-camera briefing by the military officials to the joint session of the parliament in the backdrop of the US unilateral assault in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011 that eliminated Osama bin Laden.
To another question regarding the operational control of Shamsi Air Base, the officials said UAE was operating the Air Base.
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