In a shocking discovery reports have emerged from simply Google Earth images evidence of three drones parked on an airfield in some remote destination within Baluchistan, the images were captured by orbiting satellites and archived within Google Earth data warehouse to suddenly be discovered recently. Though there is no denying that during the Musharraf regime bases were rented out to the American army costing them a massive deficit to the tune of $10 Billion. But what probably irks the nation is that the Pakistani government have categorically denied that the Pakistani bases are being used to launch drones-
Omar Qureshi who writes for The News broke this discovery locally in Pakistan
The picture of the drones on the Pakistani soil, taken in 2006, has three drones, all Global Hawks. The picture has coordinates and they can be vaguely read as 27 degrees, 51 minutes North; 65 degrees, 10 minutes East. These coordinates place the strip not far from the nearby Jacobabad airbase which is around 28 degrees north, 68 degrees east.
The Times Online also carried the report
The CIA is secretly using an airbase in southern Pakistan to launch the Predator drones that observe and attack al-Qaeda and Taleban militants on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan, a Times investigation has found. The Pakistani and US governments have repeatedly denied that Washington is running military operations, covert or otherwise, on Pakistani territory — a hugely sensitive issue in the predominantly Muslim country.
The Pakistani Government has also repeatedly demanded that the US halt drone attacks on northern tribal areas that it says have caused hundreds of civilian casualties and fuelled anti-American sentiment. But The Times has discovered that the CIA has been using the Shamsi airfield — originally built by Arab sheikhs for falconry expeditions in the southwestern province of Baluchistan — for at least a year. The strip, which is about 30 miles from the Afghan border, allows US forces to launch a Drone within minutes of receiving actionable intelligence as well as allowing them to attack targets further afield
But it all started a few days earlier when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee commented on 13th of February that unmanned CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown from an air base in Pakistan. The disclosure also marked the first time a U.S. official had publicly commented on where the Predator aircraft patrolling Pakistan take off and land.
The CIA declined to comment, but former U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, confirmed that Feinstein’s account was accurate.
While Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University, said Feinstein’s comments put Pakistan’s government on the spot.
If accurate, what this says is that Pakistani involvement, or at least acquiescence, has been much more extensive than has previously been known,” he said. “It puts the Pakistani government in a far more difficult position [in terms of] its credibility with its own people. Unfortunately it also has the potential to threaten Pakistani-American relations.
Chowrangi very rightly sums up the dilemma facing the people of Pakistan
But now the cat is out of the bag. So that is once more proved that how much regard American and our own government has for the people who reside in Pakistan. Their lives are of no value and our own government is involved in the killings. What a shame and what a sorry state of affairs. Another lie of our president has been caught and nobody knows how many more are on the way
For now the Government of Pakistan has a lot of explaining to do and just mere diversion tactics towards Musharraf might alone not help their case.