WikiLeaks Cables: Pakistan Urged Drone Strikes

Top newspaper publishes diplomatic cache
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2011 11:55 AM CDT
A supporter of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf or Movement of Justice takes part in a rally against the US drone strikes in Pakistani tribal areas, Saturday, April 23, 2011, in Peshawar, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
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(Newser) – Pakistani officials didn’t just accept US drone strikes in the country—they pushed for them, according to WikiLeaks’ latest batch of US diplomatic cables. The cables, published in top Pakistani newspaper Dawn, detail a conversation between a US diplomat and top Pakistani official in which the official suggests the US “assist” a military mission “with continued strikes.” He adds that “in the first 10-24 hours after an attack, the only people in the area are terrorists,” so “you should hit them again.”

In a 2008 cable, the US ambassador expresses fears about a growing strain on Pakistani officials’ willingness to allow the strikes while lying to constituents about them. “Pakistani leaders who feel they look increasingly weak to their constituents could begin considering stronger action against the US, even though the response to date has focused largely on ritual denunciation,” Anne Patterson writes. The publication of the so-called “Pakistan Papers” in the country’s top English-language newspaper could further damage US-Pakistan relations, notes the Atlantic Wire.

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