Drone strikes aside, US says ‘will continue to work with Pakistan’
Addressing a weekly press briefing, US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said the US had conveyed to the Pakistani Government and authorities that they need to pursue actively against terrorist organizations that are using their soil, their territory to find refuge.
“We’ve also said before that Pakistan is a country that unfortunately knows the effects of terrorism, the tragedy of terrorism. It’s suffered multiple terrorist attacks, mass casualty terrorist attacks, so it understands the stakes here.”
To a question that Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar saying US informed Pakistan seven hours after drone strike on Mullah Akhtar, Toner said “I’m not going to get into the operational details of the strike against Mansour except to say that these are very narrow windows in any case, and it’s not just with friends and allies or partners or whoever, but in any of these instances, it’s absolutely vital to keep operational security.”
Answering another question posed bya a journalist, the spokesperson said”We do consider the Haqqani Network to be an integral part of Taliban operations and among its most deadly elements. We’re not going to comment on any changes in the Taliban’s leadership structure, except to say that we’ve long called on the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, to join a reconciliation process, and we’ve said this many times.”
He went on to say that, one of the reasons, except – beyond the fact that he was planning on carrying out attacks against our personnel as well as Afghan security personnel, is that Mansour represented an effort to rekindle the war, rekindle the conflict, re-stoke the violence in Afghanistan, and was not interested in pursuing peace. We believe that an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process is the way ultimately to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan, he added.