Pakistan summons US envoy to protest Mehsud’s killing
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Saturday summoned US Ambassador in Islamabad Richard Olson and registered its protest over Friday’s US drone attack that killed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud along with his two senior lieutenants in the North Waziristan province.
In a statement, the FO said Pakistan has made its position clear that drone strikes constituted a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and of international humanitarian laws.
“In accordance with our publicly stated, consistent policy, Pakistan has condemned drone strikes whenever they have taken place, including the two recent drone attacks that took place on Thursday and Friday,” said the statement.
It dismissed drone attacks as counter-productive to Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace and stability.
The statement noted that Pakistan has been raising its concern over the drone strikes with the US and the UN.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has raised the controversial issue during his recent meeting with US President Obama.
The FO said Pakistani ambassador in the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have been directed to convey Pakistan’s concerns, with specific reference to the setback caused to the government’s peace process initiative by the latest drone attack.
Earlier today, Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan accused the US of sabotaging the country’s peace process by killing Mehsud.
“This is not the murder of a person. This is the murder of peace,” he told a press conference.
“This is not an attack on an individual. This is an attack on peace process,” asserted the minister.
Mehsud’s killing has aborted government plans to initiate negotiations with the Taliban to bring an end to a decade-long homegrown militancy that has killed over 40,000 Pakistanis, including 4,000 security personnel.
Pakistani security forces have been placed on high alert, fearing possible reprisal attacks from Taliban.
Source: World Bulletin