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US looking for new drone bases after Pak's order to vacate 'launch pad' Shamsi airbase

Islamabad, Fri, 30 Dec 2011 ANI

Islamabad, Dec 30(ANI): The Central Intelligence Agency-led drone attacks in Pakistan are likely to remain stalled amid reports that the US may not find an alternative venue to target the Pak-Afghan border area after straining ties with the US over the deadly November 26 airstrike.


The CIA carried out drone attacks from Pakistan's Waziristan region mostly from the Shamsi base in Balochistan province and partly from a US base in Khost province, Afghanistan.


The attacks came to a halt after Pakistan gave a 15-day deadline to the US to vacate Shamsi base as its response to the deadly NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, The Nation reports.


The US had reportedly mulled over using Shindand base in Helmand, Bagram base in Parwan and Camp Leatherneck base in Nimroz province as venues for executing drone attacks in Pakistan, but the plan failed because these bases are already engaged in aerial operations in Afghanistan, The Nation reports.


Islamabad-based think-tank Director Abdullah Khan said the CIA had the option of using Khost base for drones but 'its not as convenient and easy as it used to be. There are too many operational constraints involved in launching drone strikes from Khost compared to Shamsi."


"Secondly, given that Pakistan has completely disrupted intelligence sharing on drones, it's next to impossible for them (CIA) to continue with drones here", he added. (ANI)


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