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Pak military offered US drone surveillance systems


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ISLAMABAD (PTI): The US has offered the Pakistani military two drone surveillance systems to help improve its reconnaissance capability, US Under Secretary of Defence Michele Flournoy has said.

Briefing a group of journalists at the US embassy after a meeting of the bilateral Defence Consultative Group Friday, Flournoy said the ScanEagle and Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle systems had been offered to Pakistan.

Pakistan had made a request for surveillance systems to reinforce its counter-insurgency efforts.

"We have put the details of both surveillance systems on the table and now the decision is to be taken by Pakistan," she said.

It is now up to the Pakistan Army to decide which system it needs to beef up intelligence in counter-insurgency efforts.

"We will deliver whichever system is chosen by Pakistan," she said.

"With the goal of strengthening US-Pakistan defence ties, we had a very productive meeting with Defence Secretary Syed Athar Ali. This relationship is based on mutual respect, trust and interests," Flournoy said.

The US appreciated the operations conducted by the Pakistan Army against the militants in Swat, Malakand, South Waziristan and elsewhere, she said.

"I think they are moving in the right direction," she added.

Flournoy said she also met army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to review the progress made in the DCG's meeting.

She said she and Kayani had a strategic discussion on operations against militants on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Replying to a question, Flournoy said the meeting did not discuss the issue of Pakistan conducting a military operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan Agency.

"We discussed coordinated operations against militants in the bordering areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan to make their movement in these areas difficult," she said.

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