Musharraf admits to a secret drone deal with US: report

mISLAMABAD: According to American news channel CNN, former president Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that his government secretly struck an agreement with US regarding drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

This is the first time a top past or present Pakistani official has admitted publicly to such a deal, the news channel said.

In an interview this week in Islamabad, Musharraf insisted Pakistan’s government signed off on strikes “only on a few occasions, when a target was absolutely isolated and no chance of collateral damage”, said the CNN report.

The US news channel added that still, his admission that Pakistani leaders agreed to even a limited number of strikes runs counter to their repeated denunciations of a program they long claimed the United States was operating without their approval.

The report further said that the drone strikes — which the nonpartisan public policy group New American Foundation estimates have killed at least 1,990 people in Pakistan, including hundreds of civilians — are unpopular in Pakistan.

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