Mukhtar denies CIA uses Balochistan base for drone attacks
* Defence minister says US drone attacks proving counter productive
RAWALPINDI: Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar denied on Thursday that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is controlling drone attacks from the Shamsi base in Balochistan, and said Pakistan had no secret understanding with the US to use bases in Pakistan to carry out attacks in the Tribal Areas.
“Certain news reports claiming that the CIA runs predator flights from the Shamsi Airbase in Balochistan are baseless ... Pakistan has no such understanding with the US to allow it to use its bases for predator attacks,” the minister said at a meeting with Japanese ambassador Chihiro Atsumi, who had called on Mukhtar.
He also said that the US drone attacks inside Pakistan were proving counter productive.
He called for international assistance to strengthen Pakistan in terms of finance and equipment for the war on terror.
The minister briefed the envoy on the recent Swat agreement, and hoped that it would facilitate the return of normalcy to the region.
The Japanese ambassador told Mukhtar that Japan highly valued its relations with Pakistan and wanted to further promote bilateral cooperation.
Separately, the minister also met the ambassador of Ukraine, Igor Pasco, and called for further improvement in bilateral cooperation between the two sides in various fields. The meeting agreed to strengthen political, technical and military cooperation.
At another meeting with the ambassador of Bahrain, Muhammad Ebrahim Mohammad Abdul Qadir, Mukhtar discussed with the envoy matters related to bilateral cooperation.
Both sides discussed the existing level of relationship, and called for further broadening and consolidating bilateral cooperation in of trade, economy and defence.
Meanwhile, German ambassador Dr Michael Koch called on Federal Minister for Defence Production Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi, and discussed cooperation between the two countries.