Report: Pakistan Ends U.S. Use of Air Base To Launch Drone Strikes


Reuters

Pakistan has stopped the United States from using an air base in the southwest of the country to launch drone strikes against militant groups, the defense minister was quoted as saying, as ties remain strained between the two countries.

Pakistan has long publicly opposed the missile attacks as a violation of its sovereignty, but has in private given support including intelligence to help target members of al-Qaida and the Taliban in the northwest region along the Afghan border.

The Financial Times quoted Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar as saying that Pakistan had ended U.S. drone flights out of Shamsi base in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, long reported to have been used for the covert war against militants.

"No U.S. flights are taking place from Shamsi any longer. If there have to be flights from the base, it will only be Pakistani flights," Mukhtar told the newspaper