World Neighbours 23 May 2016 Pak-US ties on ' ...

Pak-US ties on 'razor edge' after Mansour killing: Pakistan media

PTI
Published May 23, 2016, 2:47 pm IST
Updated May 23, 2016, 2:47 pm IST
Pak media said the death of Mansour shows that US stepped across the red line when it launched the first-ever drone strike in Balochistan.
Pak official claimed that the US deceived Pakistan as there was an understanding among the two countries that Taliban leaders were allowed to travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Photo: AP)
 Pak official claimed that the US deceived Pakistan as there was an understanding among the two countries that Taliban leaders were allowed to travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Photo: AP)

Islamabad: The "complicated" relationship between the US and Pakistan has been thrown on "razer edge" and ties could become more "nasty" after the killing of Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in an American drone strike inside Pakistan, media here said on Monday.

Delving into the possible impact of the drone attack, The Nation said that "complicated ties between Pakistan and the US could be on course to become nasty after Osama bin Laden-style US strike deep inside Pakistan over the weekend to kill Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour."

 

The US and Pakistan differ on countering Taliban, and Washington believes Islamabad was playing double-game with them, especially on Afghanistan peace, it said in the report headlined 'Mansour strike throws Pak-US ties on the razor edge.'

It also cited the US aid restrictions over the F-16 fighter jets deal between the two countries.

The News reported that the strike, authorised by President Barack Obama, which included multiple drones, "showed the US was prepared to go after the Taliban leadership."

Dawn in its report said the death of the Mansour shows that US stepped across the "red line" when it launched the first-ever drone strike in Pakistan's Baluchistan area.

 

According to its report, there have been about 391 drone strikes by the US in Pakistani territory, primarily targeting al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders since 2004.

All but four of these strikes took place in the tribal agencies. The only previously reported strikes that took place in settled areas were in Hangu district (2013) and three in Bannu (2008), it reported citing the database maintained by Long War Journal.

Seventy-one per cent of the strikes took place in North Waziristan, while 23 per cent targeted areas in South Waziristan.

The report said that yesterday's strikes prompted fears among the Pakistani leadership that the US could expand the theatre of drone warfare into the settled areas of Pakistan.

 

The Express Tribune reported that "less than a year after he stepped into the shoes of life-time Afghan Taliban leader Mulah Omar, Mullah Akhtar Mansour is believed to have been killed in a very rare US drone strike deep inside Pakistan."

"It took the government a whole day to come up with a response after US officials and Afghan government confirmed Mansoor was killed in a drone strike in Balochistan," it said in another report headlined 'US didn't notify Pakistan until after deadly strike.'

The report said that background interviews with officials suggested that Pakistan was furious over the US decision to take out Mansour. "Would the Taliban now ever come to the negotiating table after this incident," it quoted an unnamed official as saying.

 

According to its report, the official claimed that the US "deceived" Pakistan as there was an understanding among the two countries that Taliban leaders were allowed to travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"The US was telling us they will not target Taliban leaders while efforts are on to bring them to the negotiating table" for the peace talks, the official said.

Pakistan has condemned the latest strike but so far it is not clear how it will react to the US attack in Balochistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement has said that the drone attack was a violation of Pakistan's territory.

 

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