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Pak wants Shadow 600 UAVs from US: Report

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The Predator drone used by the US.

ISLAMABAD (PTI): A peeved Pakistan feels that the dozen unarmed RQ7 drones the US has offered it do not meet its “strategic requirement” and is hoping for a “better deal” in the form of missile-capable Shadow 600 UAVs to hit militant hideouts, according to a media report here.

The RQ7 Shadow drones that the US plans to provide to Pakistan is much smaller than the deadly Predator and Reaper UAVs used by the CIA to target militants in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates last week offered to provide 12 RQ7 Shadow UAVs to Pakistan, although the country was interested in Predator drones, Dawn newspaper reported from Washington, quoting unnamed sources.

Gate's visit to Pakistan was an important friendly gesture but it did not remove the irritants that continue to mar ties between military establishments of the two nations, diplomatic sources were quoted as saying by the paper.

Though Pakistan knew that the US did not share the Predators drones with others, yet it expected a better offer, the report said.

Pakistan would have welcomed Shadow 600 UAVs, which have a larger range and can carry a bigger payload than the RQ7s.

Unlike the RQ7s, the Shadow 600 can also be armed with missiles, which Pakistan believes can be useful in targeting militants in areas where conventional weapons are not very effective, the report said.

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