Pak Embassy clarifies US lawmaker's remark on drone operations
INGTON - The Pakistan Embassy Saturday described as an "off-the-cuff remark" a U.S. senator's statement suggesting that the drones operated from an air base inside the Pakistani territory, saying there were no foreign bases in the country.
"It was an off the cuff remark and not a revelation as some media reports have made it out to be," said Nadeem Kiani, a spokesman of the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington. "There are no foreign bases in Pakistan," he added.
Comments by the new chairperson of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, that U.S. Predator drones operated from within Pakistan were based on newspaper reports and not on intelligence briefings.
Philip LaVelle, a spokesman for Feinstein, said her comment was based solely on previous news reports that Predators were operated from bases near Islamabad.
US intelligence sources said that the unmanned Predator aircraft were exclusively operated by the United States and the U.S. never revealed details about the operation of these aircraft. Given the U.S. presence in Afghanistan there was no need for Pakistan based operations, they said.