After being forced out of Afghanistan the Taliban leaders have been residing in a northwestern part of Pakistan and using it as a home base. The Pakistani government has very little control over those areas and for the most part have allowed the Taliban leaders to operate freely. The Pakistani government has been fearful to take on the Taliban, however in order to continue to receive the much needed foreign aid from the United States they have at least made the appearance that they are trying to fight terrorism (Black)
Since 2004, over 500 civilians including over 100 children have been killed by drone missiles(Black). After coming to office, President Obama has increased Predator strikes which has led to increase in civilian casualties caused by drone-launched missiles. At first Pakistan officials were publicly opposed to the drone strikes but privately provided the United States military with information regarding the location of Taliban and al Qaeda leaders.
President Obama has recently called newly elected Pakistan leader Sharif to congratulate him on his victory in the recent election. Obama has stated that he is very pleased with the Pakistanis commitment to democratic rule (Yaquing). This was the first was the first transfer of power in democratic elections since Pakistan became sovereign in 1947. President Obama stated that he wanted to “further strengthen friendly and trade relations” with Pakistan.
“The United States stands with all Pakistanis in welcoming this historic peaceful and transparent transfer of civilian power, which is a significant milestone in Pakistan’s democratic progress, ” the statement quoted the president as saying. Obama was also quoted saying that ”United States and Pakistan have a long history of working together on mutual interests, and his Administration looks forward to continuing cooperation with the Pakistani government that emerges from this election as equal partners in supporting a more stable, secure, and prosperous future for the people of Pakistan”.
At first Pakistani government officials were reluctant to criticize the United States in regard to their continued usage of drones in Pakistan but recent Pakistani election winner Sharif publicly stated that the use of armed drones by the United States is “both an infringement of their national sovereignty and counter-productive in the war on terror” (Shinkman). A recent