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U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed Taliban Leader Mullah Mansour had been killed in an American air strike at the weekend. Obama, on a three-day visit to Vietnam, reiterated support for the Western-backed government in Kabul and Afghan security forces, and called on the Taliban to join stalled peace talks. The president authorized the drone strike that killed Mansour in a remote region just on the Pak-Afghanistan border, and Afghan authorities have said the mission was successful.

(Reuters)

US drone attack violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty:  Prime Minister

The air strike in the Dalbandin area of Balochistan is violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday criticised the drone strike which the US carried out in Balochistan a day earlier and said that a strong protest had been lodged with the US over the attack. Talking to reporters after his arrival in London for a medical check-up, he described the air strike in the Dalbandin area of Balochistan as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Response by FO of Pakistan

Pakistan wishes to once again state that the drone attack was a violation of its sovereignty, an issue which has been raised with the United States in the past as well. On 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 reportedly the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhter Mansoor was targeted. This information was shared with the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff after the drone strike.

Analysts

Aqeel Yousufzai (Journalist):

“The element of uncertainty is clouding the recent unfolding events in Afghanistan, especially in the aftermath of Mullah Mansour’s demise. However, Pakistan’s role in this evolving situation is clear like a day. Pakistan is determined to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan as our government has reiterated its resolve for Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. The Taliban leadership would definitely be looking for new front-line leader, to keep its all factions together, which would halt ongoing peace process in Afghanistan. Taliban are feeling multi-dimensional pressure after his death and passing through an era of leadership crisis. The coming few months are important for entire region of South Asia as the situation is changing dramatically.“

Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema (IR Expert):

“The sudden assassination of Taliban leader has disrupted the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan. Also, the Drone attack inside the territory of Pakistan is sheer violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and national integrity. Pakistan should register its protest on all global forums as USA is turning out to be a free rider and police man of the world. The USA is playing in the hands of India and its ham-handed policy for South Asian region is influenced by Indian dictates. The leadership crisis in Taliban factions is going to halt peace process for uncertain period of time, which would cast serious implications for the whole region. Who will be the new leader of Taliban? What would be his policies towards Afghanistan and towards entire region? These all are million dollar questions and necessitate serious considerations."

Dr. Zahid Anwar Khan (IR Expert):

"Basically, the Afghanistan issue is inherently complex in nature and its history is based on centuries. Its peaceful and durable solution requires time and unflinching resolve on the part of all stakeholders of the dispute. The recent assassination of Mullah Mansour has given birth to some serious questions and generated debates among international relation practitioners, experts and people from academia alike. America has been violating the sovereignty of other nations since decades and now it has turned its focus on Pakistan. Pakistan has sacrificed precious lives of its military personals and common people for global cause. Not to speak of global recognition of these sacrifices, Pakistan is being victimized for the offences it has never done. 

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Moeen Haider (Defense Analyst):

“Primarily, Mullah Mansour was resident of Afghanistan. America has killed him inside the territory of Pakistan just to persecute Pakistan and to disgrace it in the comity of nations. Through this attack, America has signaled that it can launch air strikes anywhere on the surface of the earth. However, Pakistan is a sovereign and independent state and it can defend its territorial boundaries at any cost. The killing of Mullah Mansour has done nothing but prolonged much needed and anticipated peace process in the region.”

Dr. Muhammad Khan (Defence Expert):

“The untimely killing of Afghan leader has negatively impacted the ongoing peace efforts for Afghan fiasco. The mainstream leadership of Afghan Taliban was needed to continue the negotiations and peace process in Afghanistan. America has played the role of a spoiler in our regional affairs. History is evident of the fact that America has always been acting as a hegemon for the globe. It has always regressively contributed for global peace and prosperity. The burning Middle East, unstable South Asia, crisis hit South and North East Asia are recent examples of its immature foreign policy approach".


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