Islamabad: Drone strikes show that there has been no real change in the relations between the US and Pakistan, said a daily that criticised Washington for continuing “to act in its own interests”.
“The drone issue has reared its ugly head once again. Within the last two days, at least 18 and possibly more people have been killed in strikes in the North Waziristan area,” said an editorial in the News International today.
The US media suggested that Badruddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani network, was among those killed in the drone strikes. But this has not been confirmed by independent sources.
The daily said: “The precise truth as to who was killed and where is of course impossible to establish. But the brief lull we had seen in the drone attacks has ended. Things, we can say, are ‘back to business’ as usual. The claim by the Pakistan government that it had asserted its sovereignty during talks with Washington has quite obviously turned out to be false.”
“Islamabad has no way of stopping the drone strikes, with the recent incursions into its territory by the unmanned aircraft proving this. The summoning of senior US diplomats and the public protestations of complaint are really no different from those we have heard before. They almost inevitably come to naught,” it added.
The ties between Islamabad and Washington hit a rough patch over the killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on 2 May last year. A Nato airstrike on 26 November last year that left two dozen Pakistan Army soldiers dead further strained the ties.
The editorial went on to say that the latest strikes go to prove “…there has been no real change in the relations between the two countries at all”.
“The US has continued to act in its own interests.
“These do not necessarily coincide with those of Pakistan, where the drone attacks will only create a new wave of anger and complicate the key issue of combating militancy. The fact that there is no transparency in the agreements that exist between Islamabad and Washington in various spheres only adds to the feeling of disquiet amongst people.”
It added that the time has come when the matter needs to be sorted out once and for all.