WASHINGTON - The CIA suspended its long-standing use of Pakistans Shamsi airbase three months ago, a leading US newspaper reported Saturday amid controversy over the status of the site from where armed drones targeted members of Al-Qaeda and other militant groups. Citing US and Pakistan officials, The Washington Post said US personnel and Predator drones remain at the facility located in Balochistan, with security provided by the Pakistani military. In recent days, Pakistan has publicly declared that it 'ended all US flights from the base in the wake of the secret US commando raid that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May. Bit in a U-turn, Information Minister Firdous Aashiq Awan contradicted Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, who made the statement that Pakistan had asked the United States to vacate the Shamsi airbase. Firdous asserted that her government was unaware of any issue relating to the base, saying, No such matter ever came under consideration in the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) of which I am also a member. The Post dispatch said that the aircraft launches were halted in April, weeks before the bin Laden raid, after a dispute over a CIA contractor who fatally shot two Pakistani citizens in Lahore in January. An American official said the CIAs decision to suspend the launches was part of a US effort to 'pay attention to the sensitivities of the Pakistanis, who had objected to a claim of diplomatic immunity for the contractor. Although Pakistan has continued to voice sharp public criticism over the shootings and the bin Laden raid, the paper, citing officials from both countries, said the rupture in their intelligence cooperation has slowly begun to heal. Pakistan has reversed its freeze on visas for US intelligence officials, they said, and allowed dozens of CIA personnel to re-enter the country. All US drone strikes in the past three months have been launched from Afghanistan, in the vicinity of Jalalabad, according to the unnamed officials. The New America Foundation, which tracks the strikes, has listed 23 such raids since the beginning of April, all but one in Pakistans tribal regions of North and South Waziristan. A June 20 attack was reported in Kurram, an area above North Waziristan along the Afghanistan border. The drone programme has become increasingly controversial as the Obama administration has expanded its use beyond the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Lethal missiles have been launched from unmanned aircraft in at least five countries in addition to Pakistan Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and, most recently, Somalia. The militarys Joint Special Operations Command last week used a drone to attack what officials said were two senior members of the al-Shabab militant group near Kismaayo, on the southern Somali coast.