Cannot verify Mullah Nazir’s death by drone strike: FO

Published: January 4, 2013

Foreign Office says Pakistan is hopeful that the US would agree to alternatives to the drone program. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government cannot not verify reports suggesting that Taliban warlord Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah Nazir, was killed in a US drone strike on Wednesday in South Waziristan, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Moazzam Khan on Friday.

Mullah Nazir was seen as a pro-government Taliban commander, who in the past also struck peace deals with Pakistan. His killing might put Pakistan at odds with the US given Islamabad’s position that drone attacks could prove to be counter-productive for Afghan reconciliation process.

Addressing the weekly briefing in Islamabad, the spokesperson strongly condemned the drone strikes in the country’s tribal belt. “We strongly condemn drone attacks as they are in violation of Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” he said.

When asked, the foreign office spokesperson insisted that Pakistan was hopeful that the US would agree to alternatives to the drone program, which has stoked widespread anti-American sentiments in the country.

But the US has not dropped any hint that it would consider Pakistan’s request because the Obama administration sees drone strikes as a powerful weapon to eliminate high value targets associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Afghan peace process

Khan said that Pakistan and Afghanistan were making efforts to hold an Ulema Conference this month in Kabul to help advance the peace process in the war-torn country.

The joint Ulema Conference is part of a series of steps the two neighbours announced in November last year to seek a political end to the long running conflict in Afghanistan.

Other steps include Pakistan’s decision to release Taliban detainees from its custody, who may help jumpstart the otherwise fragile peace process.

The spokesperson confirmed that Pakistan had so far released 26 Afghan Taliban at the request of Kabul. However, he did not provide further details whether those released were still in Pakistan or reached Afghanistan.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (14)

  • Ali
    Jan 4, 2013 - 5:17PM

    Sovereign and countries with integrity have control over their territory!

    Recommend

  • Eddie dex
    Jan 4, 2013 - 5:36PM

    The govt cannot verify death because waziristan area is so hostile that not even reporters are allowed in…of course Taliban sympathizers will not question the false reports that civilians were killed by drones even though there is no proof of those deaths either…

    Recommend

  • mlj
    Jan 4, 2013 - 6:03PM

    cannot not?

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jan 4, 2013 - 6:03PM

    These drone attacks were agreed to by both governments. At one time drones were taking off from shamsi base inside Pakistan. The army top brass and the politicians have been fooling the people of this country since independence.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2013 - 6:14PM

    “Mullah Nazir was seen as a pro-government Taliban commander, who in the past also struck peace deals with Pakistan.”
    This good Taliban and bad Taliban theory of Pakistan has only brought disaster to Pakistan and misery to the entire region. Terrorists can not be isolated and eliminated as long this theory of good Taliban will be in play.Recommend

  • pakfastbowler
    Jan 4, 2013 - 6:26PM

    Hopeful

    Recommend

  • Jibran
    Jan 4, 2013 - 6:33PM

    What is the procedure for verifying the deaths of the terrorists (or the civilians for that matter)? Does the ISPR/Foreign office carryout DNA tests? Or some other form of identification? If not, then a statement from them means little, especially when there is absolutely no presence of the government in that area.

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 4, 2013 - 7:00PM

    There are no war lords in the Pashtun land!!. Every Pashtun is the lord and free in his land and is required to keep it indepenent and free of infidels. Their security system is unique in as much as each intruder can be intercepted instantly if he does not speak the dialect of the area he is entering.

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2013 - 8:50PM

    Insurgency or drone strikes are not real solution of the existing carnage Negotiation is the best option leading to peace and security of the region

    American diplomacy has failed now let Pakistan to do more,Releasing Afghan leaders from jails Pakistan has played a remarkable role which has closed war troika to peace.

    Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2013 - 8:55PM

    hypocrisy would have to root out if you want to see peace process successful
    Hypocrisy does not fruit,being committed by the single super power

    Recommend

  • 2Cents
    Jan 4, 2013 - 11:34PM

    @Saleem,
    I agree with you. The top brass has never let “the people” ever get the sense of independence.
    But, then again it is a collective fault of general populous.

    .Just a thought

    Recommend

  • Halal Pork
    Jan 4, 2013 - 11:47PM

    @VINOD: Many of the GOOD Taleban became BAD because they are too scared to die by the Americans.
    .
    Why fight in the god forsaken deserts of Afghanistan terrorizing poor poppy farmers when you can lord over vast swathes of population in the tribal areas of Pakistan? FATA, Swat, etc. are your kingdoms until the eye can see, unless you see a DRONE!

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 5, 2013 - 12:23AM

    Wow, Letter to Foreign Office, “alternative” to drone strikes might involve having Pakistan actually extend the SOVEREIGNTY of the state to the Waziristans so that drone strikes would not be necessary !!! Just a suggestion, of course!

    Recommend

  • Insaan
    Jan 5, 2013 - 5:52AM

    @sultan ahmed: Insurgency or drone strikes are not real solution of the existing carnage Negotiation is the best option leading to peace and security of the region

    It is all about money and power. Most likely some Pakistanis get “bounty” money when a terrorist is killed by a drone. There are good talibans. To have good talibans there have to be bad talibans. Pakistan knows how to use “non-State actors. War on terrorism is bringing billions of dollars to Pakistan. I don’t think Pakistan wants peace.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan