May 23 2016
Islamabad has summoned the US ambassador to voice its concerns over a recent US drone strike on Pakistani soil that reportedly killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour.
According to a statement released by Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Monday, David Hale was called in by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.
During the meeting, Fatemi reiterated Islamabad’s stance that the strike was carried out in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and that it also breached a UN charter that was developed to guarantee the inviolability of the territorial integrity of states.
Fatemi also stressed that such measures would hinder the ongoing efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group that is trying to broker peace talks between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan.
On Saturday, the US Department of Defense announced that it had mounted the strike against Mansour “in a remote area of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.”
Meanwhile, Iran has denied media reports that Mansour had returned to Pakistan from the Islamic Republic before being killed.
Some media outlets had reported that Pakistani authorities said identity documents found on the body of the man — now known to be Mansour — showed he had left for Iran on March 28 and returned the day he was killed.
“The relevant officials at the Islamic Republic deny that this person on this date crossed into Pakistan from Iran’s border,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari.
There are conflicting reports over the Taliban’s confirmation of the fate of Mansour who assumed the leadership only last year. Most of the senior members have so far made no official statement over the incident. Although senior commander Mullah Abdul Rauf was reported by AP as confirming Mansour’s demise while Reuters quoted another commander as denying it.