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Pakistan expresses discontent over US drone strike suspected to have killed Mullah Mansour

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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office of Pakistan on Sunday denounced the US drone strike, suspected to have killed the Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, as a violation of its air space and said Pakistani leadership was informed this on late Saturday after the drone strike was carried out.

Pakistan has expressed discontent over repeated violation of its air space despite raising its concern with United States in the past.

The statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Sunday, said one of the victims of the attack was a driver named Muhammad Azam while the identity of the second “is being verified”, however “according to the information gathered so far, a person named Wali Muhammad s/o Shah Muhammad carrying a Pakistani passport and an ID card, resident of Qilla Abdullah, entered Pakistan from Taftan border on 21st May. His passport was bearing a valid Iranian visa”.

“On late Saturday 21st May, 2016, the United States shared information that a drone strike was carried out in Pakistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area,” it said.

“This information was shared with the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff after the drone strike.”

The statement denounced the drone attack as a “violation of (Pakistan’s) sovereignty, an issue which has been raised with the United States in the past as well,” AFP reported.

It said that a four-country group comprising the US, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan met for the fifth time on May 18 to discuss ways to restart stalled peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban and that the group had collectively decided “a politically negotiated settlement was the only viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan and called upon the Taliban to give up violence and join peace talks”.

PM unsure whether Mullah Mansour killed or not

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said US Secretary of State John Kerry informed him after the drone attack was carried out which is violation of the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan.

“We cannot say anything for sure now if Mullah Akhter Mansour has been killed or not,” he said while talking to media in London.

Politicians’ reaction on drone strike

Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US and Pakistan People’s Party leader, Sherry Rehman said what had suddenly happened that the US attacked Mullah Mansour when he had come for negotiation on table.

Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan said drone strike on country’s land was a big failure of internal security and foreign policy.

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