Pakistan slams US strike after Taliban death
Pakistan has denounced a drone strike that killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour as a ‘violation’ of its airspace.
The country’s foreign office said in a statement that one of the victims of the attack was a driver named Muhammad Azam, while the identity of the second ‘is being verified’.
However, a senior commander from the militant group has confirmed Mansour was killed in the strike.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement ‘On late Saturday 21st May, 2016, the United States shared information that a drone strike was carried out in Pakistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area,’ in which Mansour was targeted.
‘This information was shared with the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff after the drone strike.’
The ministry denounced the attack as a ‘violation of (Pakistan’s) sovereignty, an issue which has been raised with the United States in the past as well’.
It said that a four country group comprising of the United States, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan last met on Wednesday to discuss ways to restart stalled peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.
And that the group had decided ‘a politically negotiated settlement was the only viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan’.
When news of the drone strike broke on Saturday, a US official said multiple drones had targeted the men as they rode in a vehicle in a remote area of Pakistan along its border with Afghanistan, southwest of the town of Ahmad Wal.
Pakistan has said that the US government did not inform Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif beforehand.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that Washington only notified Pakistan after the operation.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement that Mansour ‘has been the leader of the Taliban and actively involved with planning attacks against facilities in Kabul and across Afghanistan, presenting a threat to Afghan civilians and security forces, our personnel, and Coalition partners’.
A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday: ‘The raid was done in agreement with Afghan authorities. It seems to be successful. We are assessing for confirmation.’
‘Our hope and understanding is that in the wake of these new developments an Afghan-led peace process would result in bringing lasting peace and stability,’ he said.
Mansour was appointed leader of the Taliban in July 2015 following the revelation that the group’s founder, Mullah Omar, had been dead for two years.http://www.people24x7.org/pakistan-slams-us-strike-after-taliban-death/https://i2.wp.com/www.people24x7.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/t-b825aee-76a6-4a17-a785-5e2d74bf392d.jpg?fit=650%2C366https://i2.wp.com/www.people24x7.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/t-b825aee-76a6-4a17-a785-5e2d74bf392d.jpg?resize=150%2C150FEATURED POSTSfeatured