ISLAMABAD — Leaders in Pakistan are outraged at reported U.S. plans to continue controversial drone strikes against suspected al-Qaida-linked sanctuaries on Pakistani soil. They are calling it “close to a perpetual war,” and say it is exactly opposite to what President Barack Obama stated in his inaugural speech on Monday.
U.S. drone strikes on targets in Pakistani regions along the border with Afghanistan remain highly controversial and are deeply unpopular in Pakistan.
The Washington Post reported last week that U.S. officials have nearly completed a counterterrorism manual that would establish stringent rules for lethal “targeted-killing operations” through Obama’s second term.
However, the newspaper quoted unnamed officials as saying that before the CIA is asked to comply with the new counterterrorism guidelines, the agency would be allowed to continue sending unmanned drones to fire missiles at suspected al-Qaida, as well Taliban, targets in Pakistan for at least another year.