Speaking today to a US Congressional delegation, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari warned that the continued US drone strikes are undermining public support for the assorted wars in northern Pakistan and called for the attacks to cease.
The US has continued to increase the number of drone strikes in Pakistan in recent months, killing large numbers of civilians but relatively few high profile militant leaders. The attacks have riled the public, though US officials have dismissed such concerns.
Zardari has been pressuring the US to give drone technology to Pakistan so that it can launch its own strikes in the region, though since Pakistan has not-so-secretly provided targeting information for several of the US attacks it is unclear what this might accomplish.
But Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) one of the delegation members, praised the continued drone attacks as “very effective” and said they were essential to an eventual victory in America’s seemingly endless war in Central and South Asia.