June 29th, 2011
06:50 PM ET

Pakistan Minister says U.S. troops told to leave drone base

Pakistan’s defense minister says his government has told U.S. forces to leave a key military base in the south of the country, although an American official says the minister’s comments are “news to us.”

The state-run Associated Press of Pakistan Wednesday quoted minister Ahmed Mukhtar as telling reporters in his Rawalpindi office: “We have told them (the U.S. officials) to leave the air base.” According to APP, the minister was responding to a question about Shamsi air base in Baluchistan province, from where U.S. military drones are said to operate.

However, the U.S. official said American counter terrorism operations in Pakistan continue.

Separately– a source familiar with U.S. drone operations in Pakistan said Shamsi Airbase is "still open for business."

Mukhtar’s comment is Pakistan’s latest public statement of displeasure with the United States, following the secret U.S. raid on May 2 that killed Osama bin Laden.

The drone issue had put a strain on U.S.-Pakistan relations, even before the raid. In April, days before that commando operation, a Pakistani official said U.S. personnel had left the base, a claim that American officials had then denied.

-CNN's National Security Producer Pam Benson contributed to this report

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Filed under: Military • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Kayaking Maps

    They hate us over there I don't care what you say the tribal region is a complete mess and needs to go one day Pakistan will have to deal with them .

    May 31, 2017 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  2. ed harvey

    Everyone made such a big deal of how the russians were run out of Afghanastan with their tail between their legs after fighting for 10 years. They are going to be saying the same about us.
    We need to stop worrying about drone attacks. We have the intelligence to know where the training camps are. We know where the large concentrations of terrorists are. Our enemmies are Al-Quaieda and Taliban and other assorted terrorist groups living with impunity in Pakistan.
    We need to leave all of our troops there until 1/1/12.
    We need to build up and consolidate our offensive air capabilities. We are not to ask any body to help us.We certainly do not want to tell any Afghan or Pakastani officials know whats going on.
    We need to attack every single Pakistan and Afghan target relentlessly with as much firepower as we can bear. Totally destroy every single trace of any thing related to those groups that mean to attack and kill Americans.
    Then President Obama needs to go on TV and announce to the world that our attacks marks a new beginning of a new American policy towards terrorist organizations. We will seek them out and destroy them no matter where they are.Let nations know that if they harbor terrorists you not only do they put themselves at risks for military attacks. They also face losing all American foreign aid.
    He needs to announce to that both Afghanastan and Pakistan will lose all American aid except humanitarian aid.. All of those billions of dollars can be used domestically to solve a lot of budget shortfalls.
    Finally he needs to announce that all troops in Afghanastan will start pulling out immediately and all US troops will be pulled out but 6/1/12. Let it be known that any attacks on American troops before that day will be met with overwhelming force.

    July 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  3. Oli-1

    I think we should just tell the Pakistan gov. if they want us out then we say ok. Then let India have at them.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Reply

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