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US drone strike has harmed Pakistan’s sovereignty and compromised the afghan peace process: Analysts

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. 

Army Chief raises the demand of targeting TTP and Mullah Fazlullah in their bases in Afghanistan during a meeting with the US delegation

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

Lt Gen (Retd) Talat Masood (Defense Analyst):

“It was necessary that Pakistan gives a clear and unambiguous message to the US that it should desist from violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan. Mullah Mansour was targeted by Americans because he was not useful for them. However, the US should not have targeted him inside Pakistani territory. Since when the General Raheel Sharif has assumed the command of Pakistan Armed Forces, the actions against terrorists have been very successful. General Raheel also raised his strong voice against the US drone strikes inside Pakistan.”

Air Marshal (Retd.) Shahid Lateef (Defense Analyst):

“The US attitude clearly shows that we don’t have a good friendship with the US. Rather, US pursues its own selfish interests while dealing with different states. We helped the US in war against terrorism but the US ignored Pakistan after getting its objective. The US has harmed the Afghan dialogue process by targeting Mullah Mansour. The US and India are colluding to hold their sway in Afghanistan after peace is restored in that war-torn country. In these circumstances, Pakistan should increase cooperation with China and Russia to tackle things. Ties between the US and India are growing and this could be an alarm bell for Pakistan.”

Dr. Ashraf Toor (President, Pak-US Democratic Forum): 

“Pakistan strongly believes that drone attack, in Afghanistan-Pakistan border region in which Mullah Mansour was killed, is against the sovereignty of Pakistan. Such drone attacks in Pakistan’s territory should never be tolerated in future. United States needs to respect the international laws. Advisor to PM Sartaj Aziz and COAS Gen Raheel Sharif strongly condemned the drone strike and conveyed a strong message to the United States to be careful in future. Pakistan has lodged strong protest against this US act and it is a positive development. On behalf of Pak-US Democratic Forum, we are making efforts to present a resolution against the drone attack in Pakistan’s territory.”

Dr. Shaheen Akhtar (Senior Analyst): 

“Sartaj Aziz conveyed a strong message to the United States that the 21 May drone strike was not only a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and breach of the principles of the United Nations’ Charter, but it also vitiated the bilateral ties. The drone strike had seriously undermined the ongoing efforts for Afghan peace and reconciliation process. Pakistan is badly affected by the menace of terrorism and is fighting a successful war to combat this scourge. United States needs to trust Pakistan’s peace efforts and support it rather than to attack Pakistan’s integrity. Pakistan has been fighting this crucial and costly war against terrorism all alone.”

Dr. Haider Mehdi (Senior Analyst from American University of Sharjah, UAE): 

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making good efforts to activate Indian lobby in the United States. Pakistan needs to be more active in this regard as well. It is expected that India could get the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group. United States has sent a high level delegation to Pakistan but it is a formal visit. I am not hopeful that it will have any positive outcome.  It is high time that Pakistan gives a clear policy regarding Pak-US bilateral relations. Pakistan needs to review its policy regarding the US. Civil and Military leadership of Pakistan has sent a strong message to the US to be careful in future.”


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