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Kabul (BNA)

Tuesday 31 January 2012

President Barack Obama on Monday confirmed that US drone aircraft have struck Taliban and Al-Qaeda targets within Pakistan -- operations that until now had not been officially acknowledged.

When asked about the use of drones by his administration in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube, Obama said "a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA.

"For the most part, they've been very precise precision strikes against Al-Qaeda and their affiliates, and we're very careful in terms of how it's been applied," Obama said.

"This is a targeted focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases, and so on."

Explaining that many strikes were carried out "on al-Qaeda operatives in places where the capacities of that military in that country may not be able to get them," Obama confirmed that Pakistan's lawless tribal zone was a target.

"So, obviously, a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA, and going after al-Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough terrain along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.

"For us to be able to get them in another way would involve probably a lot more intrusive military action than the ones we're already engaging in."

US officials say Pakistan's tribal belt provides sanctuary to Taliban fighting for 10 years in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda groups plotting attacks on the West, Pakistani Taliban who routinely bomb Pakistan and other foreign fighters.

Sixty-four US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt last year, down from 101 reported in 2010..

The United States had until now refused to discuss drone strikes publicly, but the program has dramatically increased as the Obama administration looks to withdraw all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The Pakistani government is understood to agree to the program despite popular opposition at home, and drones have reportedly killed dozens of Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives and hundreds of low-ranking fighters since 2004.

 

Monday, January 30, 2012
Kabul (BNA) The New York Times daily informed of a start from the peace talks between the representatives of the Taliban and the US with the aim to build up trust for ending war in Afghanistan. 
The daily quoting the Taliban group writes that there is possibility for release of some of the Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo. 
Aminudden Muzafari secretary to the high peace council said that the government of Afghanistan expects that a delegation of the Qatar state visit Kabul for acceleration of the role of this country’s role at the talks. 
According to New York Times four to eight representatives of the Taliban have gone from Pakistan to Qatar for opening of the Taliban office in Qatar. 
The daily adds that it seems that Taliban has refuted official confirmation of its representative at the peace talks land its ready for carrying of primary talks there. 
The US too has not rejected holding of the talks.

Saturday, January 28, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Prime Minister Raza Gailani of Pakistan will send Hena Rabani Kahr Minister of Foreign Affairs of that country for talks to Afghanistan.
A higher authority in Pakistan told Reuters that Hena Rabani Kahr in her visit will prepare the ground for coming summit among Afghanistan Pakistan and the US.
The Prime Minister while discussing issues pertaining to Afghanistan touched on the visit of Mrs. Hena Rabani to Afghanistan.
Relations between Pakistan and US become tense after NATO air attack on a military post of Pakistan in which 24 Pakistan soldiers were killed and Islamabad in reaction closed the supply caravans of NATO through Pakistan and the US Shamsi air base in Baluchistan.
Before the two countries for killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan had also become tense.
It is unknown when the Pakistan foreign minister will visit Kabul.

Friday 27 January,

Kabul (BNA)

United States have number of Nato supply routes that are being used despite the closure of Pakistani routes, US state department said on Thursday.

During a daily press briefing, state department's spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that US think that Pakistan has a very important role to play in supporting reconciliation process.

She said that Pakistan was part of the Istanbul process, part if the Bonn process, supporting this reconciliation effort.

The spokesperson said that Ambassador Grossman was ready to go to Pakistan but the Pakistani government was very much involved in an internal review of its relations with United States.

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