Islamabad (Agencies): The United States has halted drone strikes on militants along Pakistan's western border in a development analysts believe is linked to US attempts to secure the release of a jailed US consular employee.

After months of recurrent attacks from unmanned US aircraft on militant hideouts in tribal areas on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, where bloodshed has hit record levels, reports of covert strikes have gone quiet for over three weeks.

Many experts believe Washington has stopped the attacks to avoid further inflaming anti-American fury in Pakistan just as it pressures a vulnerable Islamabad government to release Raymond Davis, a US consulate employee jailed after shooting two Pakistanis last month during what he said was an attempted robbery.

"This in itself raises a number of questions regarding the US Pakistan strategy as it struggles to balance counter terrorism ... with its public diplomacy," remarked Simbal Khan, an analyst with the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad.