Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit, a top government source on Friday said that India is “deeply interested” in acquiring the drone technology used by the Americans to kill Iranian military leader Qaseem Soleimani last month.
“We would be deeply interested in acquiring the technology used by the Americans to kill the Iranian military commander as the drone quietly sneaked in and launched its missile accurately to kill him,” he said.
On January 3, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Maj Gen Qaseem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike by the US troops in Baghdad.
Sources said the technology can help in targeting the Indian fugitives hiding in countries such as Pakistan or other countries if there is any need for such an operation.
Several perpetrators of heinous terrorist attacks in India like the 26/11 in Mumbai and February 14 Pulwama attacks are hiding in Pakistan and are termed as “non-state” actors by Islamabad.
Both Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed have been roaming openly in Pakistan continuing their activities against India at the behest of the Pakistan Army there.
Sources said India has expressed interest in the technology and the issue may come up for discussion during the US President’s visit. Trump is slated to pay a two-day visit to India on February 24-25.
During the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden in 2009, the American Navy Special Forces had used a special stealth chopper to land and attack their target hiding next to the Pakistan Military Academy near Islamabad.
Sources said India may also move ahead with the Predator drones deal with the US during the visit but the drones being acquired may not be as effective as the ones used in the Iranian strike in carrying out selective target attack as they can be shot down by fighter aircraft.
(With inputs from livemint)