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Any future drone strike will be detrimental to Pak-US bilateral relations: Sartaj Aziz

Pakistan has conveyed a strong message to the United States on violation of its sovereignty by a drone strike targeting Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour. The message was conveyed at a meeting between Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson and Advisor to US President Peter Lavoy in Islamabad today.  Sartaj Aziz said any future strike will be detrimental to the bilateral ties. “Further expressed his concern that the drone strike had seriously undermined the ongoing efforts for Afghan peace and reconciliation process at a time when Pakistan, along with other Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) countries, was engaged in serious efforts to revive peace talks between Afghan Government and the Taliban.” He said the May 21 drone strike was not only a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and breach of the principles of the United Nation's Charter, but has also vitiated bilateral ties. The two sides had candid discussions on bilateral relations, regional security situation and the Afghan peace process in the wake of the drone strike in Balochistan. Advisor to the US president conveyed President Obama's good wishes for the Prime Minister's speedy recovery. 

US delegation calls on Army Chief General Raheel Sharif

Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan General John Nicholson and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Olson called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in Rawalpindi today. Regional Security Situation, with particular reference to border management and peace and stability in Afghanistan in the post-21 May US drone strike environment   came under discussion. Expressing his serious concern on the US drone strike in Balochistan as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty, the army chief highlighted as to how it had impacted the mutual trust and respect and was counterproductive in consolidating the gains of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. General Raheel Sharif said all efforts for durable peace in the region have to be synergized with shared commitment and responsibility in order to make them successful. He said that while Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched against terrorists of all hues and sanctuaries of terrorists have been dismantled without discrimination, all stakeholders need to understand Pakistan's challenges with regard to porous border, inter-tribal linkages and decades-old presence of over three million refugees. Blaming Pakistan for instability in Afghanistan is unfortunate. Raising the demand of targeting TTP and Mullah Fazlullah in their bases in Afghanistan, the army chief reiterated Pakistan's resolve not to allow hostile intelligence agencies' efforts, especially RAW and NDS, of fomenting terrorism. Chief of Army Staff reaffirmed the need for continuing harmonized efforts against terrorists and effective border management as ways to regional peace and stability. He said Pakistan is committed to work for a long term peace process for Afghanistan under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group framework.  

Analysts 

Maj Gen (Retd) Farooq (Defense Analyst): 

“United States has violated the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan by launching a drone strike in Balochistan and also breached the international laws. Pakistan has warned the US to be careful in future. Army Chief has also strongly conveyed a message that such incidents will not be tolerated in future. Pakistan is making serious efforts for peace in the region, especially in Afghanistan. The recent drone attack has affected the peace process between Afghan government and the Taliban. China is also interested in making the peace dialogue successful. Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has categorically said that Pakistan strongly condemns the drone attacks in its territory. Pakistan should trust on its own resources for the defense of its territory rather than eyeing on foreign aid.”

Dr. Maria Sultan (IR Expert): 

“United States should respect the territorial integrity of any country. Drone attack in Pakistan’s territory by United States is against the international laws. Instead of targeting Mullah Mansour directly, it should have informed Pakistan in advance about his presence in Pakistan. This drone attack clearly indicates that United States does not believe in the efforts of Pakistan in war against terrorism despite that fact that Pakistan is an ally of the US. Targeting Mullah Mansour in Pakistan is an effort to create confusion between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan has rightly and strongly condemned the drone attack. It has also affected the Afghan peace process efforts. Pakistan needs to highlight this issue on all international forums.”


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