NEW YORK At the heels of Obama administrations revamped Afghan war strategy, the White House has authorised an expansion of the successful drone attacks of the CIA in the tribal areas of Pakistan, a leading American newspaper reported Friday. The White House has authorised an expansion of the CIAs drone programme in Pakistans lawless tribal areas, officials said this week, to parallel the (US) Presidents decision, announced Tuesday, to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, The New York Times said in a report. The move is certain to anger the Pakistani people and escalate tensions between Pakistan and the United States. According to the newspaper, American officials are talking with Pakistan about the possibility of striking in Balochistan for the first time - a highly sensitive move since it is outside the tribal areas - because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to hide. The Times said that CIA officials consider it as a highly successful programme as drone attacks have been able to successfully eliminate a large number of terrorist leaders. One of Washingtons worst-kept secrets, the drone programme is quietly hailed by counter-terrorism officials as a resounding success, eliminating key terrorists and throwing their operations into disarray, it said. But despite close cooperation from Pakistani intelligence, the programme has generated public anger in Pakistan, and some counterinsurgency experts wonder whether it does more harm than good, the dispatch said. Hundreds of militants, including Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, have been killed so far in the dozens of drone attacks inside Pakistan. US officials told the Times they hope to eliminate any haven for militants in the region by increasing pressure on militants in Pakistan, while using ground forces in the Afghan region. Meanwhile, lawmakers lashed out at Pakistan Thursday as an unreliable ally in the Afghan war that could spare the US its bruising fight with Al Qaeda if it wanted. They dont seem to want a strategic relationship, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said of the government in Islamabad. They want the money. They want the equipment. But at the end of the day, they dont want a relationship that costs them too much. A crucial ally in fighting the Al Qaeda terrorist network, Pakistan is also a major recipient of US aid. President Obama and Congress recently approved a $7.5 billion aid package for economic and social programmes in Pakistan in a bid to strengthen the civilian government there. But despite Pakistan militarys intense ant-militant operations, many in Congress have grown sceptical that Islamabad is doing all it can to drive out Al Qaeda forces hiding along its mountainous Afghan border. Obama has not said whether or how the troop buildup would accelerate attacks on the terrorist network hiding in Pakistan. It is not clear how an expanded military effort in Afghanistan addresses the problem of Taliban and Al Qaeda safe havens across the border in Pakistan, said Sen Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Testifying for the second day on Obamas new war plan, the presidents chief military and diplomatic advisers said Pakistan was a critical component of the strategy. We have a lot of work to do in trying to convince them that were not trying to take over their country, that were not trying to take control of their nuclear weapons, and that we are actually interested in a long-term partnership with them, said Defence Secretary Robert Gates.