Musharraf admits US drone deals
Former Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf has admitted his regime had secretly signed a deal with the United States government on drone strikes. This is the first time that any present or past ruler has accepted the secret deal, which has always been officially denied.
Mr Musharraf’s admission, though, suggests he and others did play some role, even if they did not oversee the programme or approve every attack. In an interview with CNN, Mr Musharraf insisted Pakistan’s government signed off on strikes “only on a few occasions, when a target was absolutely isolated and no chance of collateral damage”.
Still, his admission that Pakistani leaders agreed to even a limited number of strikes runs counter to their repeated denunciations of a programme they long claimed the US was operating without their approval.
The drone strikes, which the non-partisan public policy group New American Foundation estimates have killed at least 1,990 people in Pakistan, including hundreds of civilians, are highly unpopular in Pakistan.