Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Arrests help US-Pakistan relations

Pakistan is said to have halted its demands for the CIA to suspend its covert drone strikes in the country (AP)

American and Pakistani officials say Pakistani forces have arrested a handful of al Qaida suspects at the CIA's request and allowed the US access to the detainees.

That could mark a turning point in US-Pakistani relations, which have soured in recent months.

The officials also say that Pakistan has, for now, stopped demanding that the CIA suspends the covert drone strikes that have damaged al Qaida's militant ranks in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Only one of the arrested al Qaida figures is considered senior, but US and Pakistani officials call the combined moves a trend in the right direction.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Friday that the Pakistanis are "doing things to co-operate and be helpful".

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