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U.S. to provide 85 drones for Pakistan

04-22-2011 15:33 BJT

ISLAMABAD, April 22 (Xinhua) -- A local English TV channel Express on Friday quoted unidentified U.S. military officials as saying that Pakistan will be given 85 small drones to fight the militants in the country's northwest tribal areas.

The news came shortly after the U.S. army chief Mike Mullen paid a visit to Pakistan.

On Wednesday, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen arrived in Islamabad from Afghanistan for talks with the Pakistani military and political officials.

During his stay, Mike Mullen met with his Pakistani counterpart Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne and other top Pakistani military officials including the Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Kayani.

The two sides mainly discussed the security issues, particularly the anti-terror war issues, as well as the ways to ease the current tension between the two allies, which resulted from a massive strike by U.S. drones on March 17th, that mistakenly killed over 40 civilians in Pakistan's northwest tribal area.

Pakistan's Army Chief Kayani openly condemned the March 17th U. S.drone strike against innocent civilians and was quoted as saying during Mike Mullen's visit in Pakistan that the U.S. drone strike has affected the anti-terror war between the two countries.

The Pakistani side, while turning a half-open half-closed eye on the U.S. drone strikes in its territory, has long demanded the U.S.side to provide it with the drone technologies, but the U.S. side has turned a deaf ear to such requests from Pakistan.

The unconfirmed agreement by the U.S. side to provide Pakistan with 85 small drones could be a comprise made by the U.S. army chief Mike Mullen during his visit in Pakistan in order to win the support and cooperation from Pakistan, especially from its army, in the fight in the neighboring country of Afghanistan.

The militants hiding in Pakistan's northwest tribal areas often launch attacks at the US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan across the border, posing a serious headache for the NATO troops there.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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