News / Asia

Report: US Curtails Drone Strikes After Pakistan Request

FILE - A U.S. Reaper drone patrols the skies in southern Afghanistan near the frontier with Pakistan.
FILE - A U.S. Reaper drone patrols the skies in southern Afghanistan near the frontier with Pakistan.
Brian Allen
Pakistan's government has asked the United States to halt drone strikes against suspected extremists as Islamabad pursues negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban - and, according to The Washington Post, the U.S. has agreed.  

U.S. news organizations say the use of drones in Pakistan has dropped dramatically - the Obama administration has not launched a drone strike in the South Asian country since December.
It is said to be the second-longest interruption in U.S. drone activity in Pakistan since a six-week halt in 2011.

The Washington Post quotes a U.S. official as saying Pakistan's government asked for “restraint” as it pushes forward with peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.

“That’s what they asked for, and we didn’t tell them no,” the unidentified official told the newspaper.

Speaking on the record, U.S. officials have not confirmed a halt in drone attacks or any link to a Pakistani request.

Dan Feldman, the State Department's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, spoke with VOA’s Urdu Service.

“I can only tell you we can never comment about operation details of something, particularly an alleged program. But the president has made a real effort to try to better define that program altogether," said Feldman.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was slated to begin peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban last November, but that was scuttled when a U.S. drone strike killed top Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud.

A member of Pakistan's National Assembly, Sheikh Rohail Asghar, said in an interview with VOA's Urdu service that a suspension of drone-launched missile strikes is welcome.

“The last peace talks were halted because of a drone strike. And when the ongoing peace talks began, Pakistan maintained that this time there should not be any incident that could derail the peace process. So, if the United States has seriously taken this issue, it is welcoming for us and I am glad that Pakistan has successfully gotten its point across.” said Asghar.

A Pentagon spokesmen declined to confirm a halt to drone attacks and indicated the U.S. remains ready to strike those who threaten its interests.

“Our policy remains the same, that we will continue to pursue threats to American security," said Colonel Steve Warren.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he wants the drone strikes to cease entirely.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More