Pakistan rejects White House offers to curtail drones

In a bid to save the CIA's drone campaign against al-Qaida in Pakistan, US officials offered key concessions to Pakistan's spy chief that included advance notice and limits on the types of targets. But the offers were flatly rejected, leaving US-Pakistani relations strained.

CIA Director David Petraeus, who met with Pakistan's then-spy chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha at a meeting in London in January, offered to give Pakistan advance notice of future CIA drone strikes against targets on its territory in a bid to keep Pakistan from blocking the strikes arguably one of the most potent US tools against al-Qaida.

The CIA chief also offered to apply new limits on the types of targets hit, said a senior US intelligence official briefed on the meetings. No longer would large groups of armed men rate near-automatic action, as they had in the past one of the so-called "signature" strikes, where CIA targeters deemed certain groups and behavior as clearly indicative of militant activity.

Pasha said then what Pakistani officials and its parliament have repeated in recent days: that Pakistan will no longer brook independent US action on its territory by CIA drones, two Pakistani officials said. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive negotiations.

Pasha went further, saying Pakistan's intelligence service would no longer participate in joint raids with US counter terrorist teams inside its country, as it had in the past. Instead, Pakistan would demand that the US hand over the intelligence, so its forces could pursue targets on their own in urban areas, or send the Pakistani army or jets to attack the targets in the tribal areas, explained a senior Pakistani official.

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