Tensions Rise as US Drone Strike Kills 10 in Northwest Pakistan

Killings Further Complicate Deal for Border Crossing

The negotiation between the US and Pakistan on reopening a border crossing into occupied Afghanistan took a major turn for the worse today after a US drone pounded a village in North Waziristan killing 10.

Pakistan’s parliament has made reopening the border conditional on the US ending strikes. Though the US has ruled out doing so, Pakistan’s cabinet allowed some supplies in last week and authorized the military to negotiate a permanent opening.

The drone strikes have been enormously unpopular in Pakistan, and have killed a large number of unidentified tribesmen. Anger at the US over the attacks has made it a key issue for Pakistan’s next election, with a number of opposition leaders attacking the ruling PPP for its pro-US stance.

The Obama Administration has defended the drone strikes as a vital part of its overall strategy in the region, and President Obama has ruled out ending them under any circumstances. This is likely to make finalizing a deal on the border issue all but impossible for the current government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.