Saturday, December 24, 2011
Pakistan received an early Christmas gift from President Barack Obama with the announcement the U.S. will suspend CIA drone attacks on low-ranking militants believed to be involved in on U.S. troops and facilities in Afghanistan.
The undeclared halt in CIA attacks, now in its sixth week, is seen as an effort to stop the worsening relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan. Drone attacks on ordered by President Obama have gone awry in recent months, resulting in a series of deadly incidents, including the mistaken attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.
The New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington, estimates CIA drones have killed at least 1,717 people, including 1,424 militants but other estimates run considerably higher.
This means hundreds of innocent Pakistanis have been killed by U.S. drones.
A November 26th drone which killed the 24 Pakistani soldiers, caused a near rupture in relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. After the raid, Islamabad ordered the United States to vacate the Shamsi Airbase in southwest Pakistan, which the CIA had used to stage lethal drone flights.