According to a report published in the New York Times, although President Obama has described Mansour’s death as an ‘important milestone,’ the strike was also an illustration of the twisted relationship between Washington and Islamabad.
On 21st May, Mansour was believed to be killed in a targeted drone strike while he was crossing into Pakistan from Iran through Balochistan.
Pakistan has termed the strike as a violation of its sovereignty, saying his killing would obstruct peace talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan. Whereas, the Obama administration has denied an apology and termed the decision to target Mansour in Pakistan’s territory as a case of self-defence.
The NY Times claimed that Pakistan was favouring Mansour as the Taliban’s new leader, but for the US he was an obstacle to reconciliation talks. Experts said, the decision to target Mansour also suggested Obama had little patience for Pakistan’s sensitivities.
Officials quoted in the NY Times revealed the US had long informed Pakistan about the target in the strike and Pakistan only offered limited information on Mansour’s whereabouts.
Barnett Rubin, a former senior US State Department official, said Mansour’s death was unlikely to have a significant impact on the Taliban, which can easily replace him. The effect could be far greater on Pakistan’s government, he said, which now must deal with the embarrassing circumstance.