Pakistan's newly-elect prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, announced the country would no longer permit U.S. drone strikes on his country's soil during his first speech earlier this week. So when the U.S. openly defied him with another drone strike late Friday, he called the U.S. envoy in Pakistan for a little chat. What happened behind those closed doors, or what was said during the ensuing conversation, is unknown at this time. We know Sharif was "protesting" the drone strike that killed nine people in north western Pakistan late Friday. All we can know is this sternly worded statement released by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "It was conveyed to the U.S. charge d' affaires that the government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strikes, which are a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity," they say. "The importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes was emphasized."
This all comes just days after Sharif assumed power in Pakistan and promised this end of the U.S. drone strikes in their country during his very first speech. "This daily routine of drone attacks, this chapter shall now be closed," Sharif said before parliament. "This campaign should come to an end." The dirty agreement between the U.S. and Pakistan for drone-rights has long been broken. Pakistan said they stopped consenting to drone strikes in September.
Friday's drone strike was the first since Sharif declared Pakistan a drone-free zone. But, also, it was only ten days removed from the previous U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. These things happen fast. We raised questions about what Pakistan might do, or even could do, to stop the U.S. from carrying out drone strikes there when Sharif made his promise. This appears to be the initial answer.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.