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Drone attacks to continue in future: Washington

WASHINGTON: The United States (US) on Monday said that it respects Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty, but to ensure its security the drone strikes will continue in future, ARY News reported.

US Department of State spokesman, Mark Toner, while briefing the media, said that those involved in violence will not be spared. He said there was no information whether Mullah Akhtar Mansour was traveling from Iran and that the strike took place at Pakistan-Iran border.

“We were in touch with Pakistan and discussion was held with regard to the strike,” he said. “Mullah Mansour was preventing Taliban from dialogue and his killing carries a ‘stern message’ for those not giving up violence.”

Earlier, Pakistan summoned US Ambassador David Hale to the Foreign Office (FO) and lodged strong protest over the drone strike that purportedly left Mansour dead in Noshki, Balochistan, closed to Pak-Afghan border.

Special Assistant to the PM (SAPM) on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi today summoned the US ambassador to express concerns over Saturday’s strike on its territory, according to a FO statement.

In the meeting, Fatemi pointed out that the drone strike was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and a breach of the United Nation’s charter that guarantees the inviolability of the territorial integrity of its member states.

He emphasized that such actions could adversely impact the ongoing efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) for facilitating peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

A US drone strike near Pak-Afghan border in Noshki, Balochistan, purportedly left Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansour and another man dead on Saturday.

Mansour was appointed head of the Taliban in July 2015 following the revelation that the group’s founder Mullah Omar had in fact been dead for two years. He was widely blamed for leading the cover-up.

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