There hasn’t been a single drone attack within Pakistan since PM Khan came to power

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Ever since Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government came into power, there has not been a single US Drone Attack in Pakistan.

Many political leaders including, the Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, have stated that Islamabad has refused access to its bases to the US. The Pakistan Air Force has also clarified that the search for a new airbase is a routine matter. 

A senior Pakistani cabinet minister told a source, “No base will be allowed to the US by PM Imran Khan so long as he is in power.” 

Khan, who has been in office since 2018, has long rejected US military intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal region. And it is unlikely he will back down. 

As an opposition leader in 2012, Imran Khan, led thousands of people in a rally from Islamabad to the tribal areas to protest US drone operations. 

The security analyst and associate dean at the National University of Sciences and Technology, Tughral Yasmin, told the source, “Pakistan has cooperated with the US in the past but always at a great political cost.” 

Yasmin added, “PM Khan might have a thin majority in parliament, but he speaks his own mind. Eventually, it’s a political decision (about the base), and I don’t think the military will have any objection to that.”

The CIA-led US drone operation is widely detested in Pakistan. 

In the years leading up to his election, Khan continuously criticized past governments for allowing US boots on Pakistani soil. 

“Imran Khan has been true to his word. There hasn’t been a recorded (CIA) airstrike within Pakistan since he came to power,” said Chris Woods of Airwars, which keeps track of the US drone attacks. 

The CIA carried out the last drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal region in July of 2018, the same month Imran Khan won the election. 

According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, from 2004 and 2018, US drones carried out more than 400 strikes in the tribal districts located in the northern mountainous area. Between 424 and 969 civilians, including more than 172 children, were killed by bombs dropped down by the US drones. 

 

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