Unchecked US attacks may reach Peshawar, officials warn
PESHAWAR: US drone attacks may extend as deep as NWFP capital Peshawar if the political leadership does not work out a ‘bipartisan policy’ to tackle the 'extremely dangerous situation’, government and military officials have warned.
"[The US] can come to Hayatabad (in Peshawar) tomorrow to hit a target and will say they have intelligence that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was hiding there," senior government and army officials told Daily Times in a series of interviews last week. The US has carried out more than two dozens airstrikes in the Tribal Areas this year, using unmanned spy planes mainly to target Al Qaeda. The warning follows a rare US attack outside the Tribal Areas targeting a suspected Al Qaeda hideout in Bannu on November 19.
"These attacks should end. They are not stopping Al Qaeda attacks, nor will they help Pakistan's campaign against this organisation," the officials speaking on condition of anonymity told Daily Times. They said the US should show how seriously the attacks affected Al Qaeda's ability to strike. "We need to know how much damage has been done to Al Qaeda’s ability to carry out attacks in future." Asked if Pakistan had given a 'tacit approval’ for the US to carry out the attacks, an army official said: "The army chief has not given any such permission. If Pervez Musharraf had done this I would have heard about or known it." iqbal khattak