In the past, Pakistan has maintained that US drone strikes in the country were carried out without leaders' involvement. Now, former leader Pervez Musharraf says the government approved some of the strikes in secret, CNN reports. Officials gave the go-ahead "only on a few occasions, when a target was absolutely isolated and [there was] no chance of collateral damage," he says in an interview.
The strikes began in 2004, five years after Musharraf came to power. They would be approved only when "there was no time for our own ... military to act," which occurred "only rarely," he said. The comments appear to confirm long-held suspicions that Pakistan was approving strikes; cables posted by WikiLeaks reported Pakistani compliance. Musharraf also noted that a drone strike—not Pakistani forces, as local intelligence held—killed al-Qaeda-linked tribal leader Nek Mohammed in 2004.