n18
NEWS|Current Affairs 
   |

Washington: Notwithstanding its public denouncements against US' "unilateral" drone attacks, Pakistan approved the controversial strikes by the CIA for years under a secret deal with America, a damning media report said today.Top officials in Pakistan's government for years have secretly endorsed the programme and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, 'The Washington Post' reported citing "top-secret" CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos obtained by it.The story, by well-known investigative journalists, and some of the documents were posted on paper's website, soon after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew out of Washington, following a four-day official visit to the US during which he held talks with the American leadership."The files describe dozens of drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal region and include maps as well as before-and-after aerial photos of targeted compounds over a four-year stretch from late 2007 to late 2011 in which the campaign intensified dramatically," the report said.The files expose the explicit nature of a secret arrangement struck between the two countries at a time when neither was willing to publicly acknowledge the existence of the drone programme carried out by the CIA, it said."The documents detailed at least 65 strikes in Pakistan and were described as 'talking points' for CIA briefings, which occurred with such regularity that they became a matter of diplomatic routine. The documents are marked 'topsecret' but cleared for release to Pakistan," the report said.The damaging report, which comes as an embarrassment to Pakistan as Sharif in his talks with President Barack Obama again called for an end to the drone strikes. "I brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasising the need for an end to such strikes," Sharif told reporters in a joint media appearance with Obama.According to the report, some of the files describe tense meetings in which senior US officials, including then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, confront their Pakistani counterparts with US intelligence purporting to show Pakistan's ties to militant groups involved in attacks on American forces, a charge that Islamabad has consistently denied.In one case, Clinton cited "cell phones and written material from dead bodies that point all fingers" at a militant group based in Pakistan, according to a Pakistani diplomatic cable dated September 20, 2011."The US had intelligence proving ISI was involved with these groups," she is cited as saying, referring to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency. PTI

Malaysia: Political foes unite, denounce 'cruel' MH17 attack

from firstpost

Malaysia: Political foes unite, denounce 'cruel' MH17 attack

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's bitterly divided political forces put aside their differences on Wednesday to denounce the attack on flight MH17 as a heinous international crime and call jointly for swift ju...


S-Korean President Geun-Hye calls Modi, hopes to expand ties

from firstpost

S-Korean President Geun-Hye calls Modi, hopes to expand ties

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke to Korean President Park Geun-Hye, who called and expressed confidence that the Strategic Partnership between India and Korea will expand in ...

Bihar: Maoists blow up rail track, pilot engine of Rajdhani derailed

from firstpost

Bihar: Maoists blow up rail track, pilot engine of Rajdhani derailed

Aurangabad (Bihar): Maoists blasted a portion of a railway track between Ismailpur and Rafiganj section in Bihar, leading to derailment of a pilot engine running ahead of the Bhubaneshwar-New Delhi Ra...

Russia struggling with half million refugees who fled Ukraine fighting

from firstpost

Russia struggling with half million refugees who fled Ukraine fighting

Moscow: Russia is struggling with a flood of refugees who already number half a million from the fighting in eastern Ukraine, and many appear increasingly likely to stay, officials and activists said....

Typhoon Matmo batters Taiwan, nine hurt

from firstpost

Typhoon Matmo batters Taiwan, nine hurt

Taipei: Typhoon Matmo pounded Taiwan with fierce winds and downpours on Wednesday, leaving nine people injured, shuttering financial markets, and interrupting rail and air transportation.Matmo, packin...

Jharkhand: Top Naxal commander killed in encounter

from firstpost

Jharkhand: Top Naxal commander killed in encounter

Ranchi, Jharkhand: In a pre-dawn operation, security forces today killed a prominent Naxal commander operating in Jharkhand in the forests of Khunti district of the state. According to preliminary inf...

Badaun gangrape: Victim was in touch with accused, claims CBI

from firstpost

Badaun gangrape: Victim was in touch with accused, claims CBI

The Badaun gangrape case, in which two teen sisters were gangraped and hanged on tree, has a new twist according to the latest CBI investigations.A Hindustan Times report quotes CBI sources as saying ...