A new report from Reuters cites unnamed security officials who confirm that the Pakistani intelligence community is, despite government protestations to the contrary, continuing to help the US with its drone strike campaign against the tribal areas.
The official termed the two recent US drone strikes, on January 10 and 12, as “joint operations” carried out by US drones with the help of Pakistani “spotters,” adding that the intelligence community has a much better relationship with the US than the political or military leadership do.
The two strikes have both been touted by US officials as great successes, with the January 10 strike supposedly killing a “top al-Qaeda leader” and the January 12 strike marking the eighth time that Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud has been “slain.”
Of course, Pakistan’s official stance is that it has barred the drone strikes and reserves the right to shoot down US drones over its territory. This sudden claim of affiliation is likely a function of the ‘success,’ however unlikely it is to last, and the same officials will likely be nowhere to be seen the next time a US drone strike kills a bunch of confirmed civilians.