During a meeting with visiting US envoy Richard Holbrooke, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani publicly condemned the American drone strikes, insisting that they were counter-productive and were fueling anti-American sentiment by killing civilians.
Then Gilani asked Holbrooke to provide drone technology to Pakistan’s armed forces so they could launch drone strikes of their own. The disconnect between the two statements appeared lost on Gilani, though his government is sewing the seeds of its own unpopularity in the region with a variety of other military actions, so he may just have figured that if they’re going to do it, they might as well go high tech.
The US has been launching drone attacks into Pakistan since last year on a fairly regular basis, though the number and severity of the attacks has risen dramatically since President Obama took office and some of the most severe attacks have killed scores of civilians.
One of the most recent strikes allegedly killed Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mehsud, though the group denies his death. Holbrooke said the US is now certain Baitullah is dead, however, saying that if he was alive he’d be on TV.