US assures drone strikes will not continue during Taliban talks: Sartaj Aziz

Published: November 20, 2013

Sartaj Aziz quoted Obama as saying that America does not want 70 percent of Pakistanis to hate it. PHOTO: AFP

File photo of drones. PHOTO: FILE Sartaj Aziz quoted Obama as saying that America does not want 70 percent of Pakistanis to hate it. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that America has assured Pakistan that drone strikes will not be carried out during talks with the Taliban, Express News reported on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj quoted President Obama as saying that America does not want 70 percent of Pakistanis to hate it, but it was desperate.

He added that when the issue of protests against late Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud‘s killing was brought up, America said that he was already on their hit list.

Hakimullah Mehsud, the young, ferocious and vengeful chief of TTP had survived at least two US drone strikes in the past. However, on November 1, his luck ran out.

The TTP ruled out the possibility of peace talks with Pakistan as Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Swat Taliban, was named the new chief on November 7.

Govt response

Politicians had earlier decried the strikes as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the peace process.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) central information secretary Shireen Mazari had said that peace can not be restored in the country unless government parts ways with the US-led war on terror.

“This attack (the drone strike that killed Hakimullah) has showed who does not want the stability in the region,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had said.

The Pakistan People Party’s (PPP) chief Opposition whip in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah had also termed the strike a bid to sabotage the peace process, a day before a delegation was due to travel to Peshawar to initiate talks.

Shah had said the drone strike would delay the proposed peace process with Taliban. He had added that a drone attack at this crucial time indicates the US does not want to establish peace in the region.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Faz (JUI-F) chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman had also strongly condemned the drone attack and termed it as conspiracy to sabotage the dialogue process.

Officially, the government had condemned the drone strike on November 1.

Drone strike

Hakimullah was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan Agency on November 1.

“A remotely piloted US aircraft fired two missiles at a house in the Dandi Darpakhel area, one kilometre north of Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, around 7:15pm,” a security official had told The Express Tribune on November 1.

They had said six suspected militants were killed and two others injured in the strike. Local tribesmen had identified the other victims as Hakimullah’s cousin Tariq Mehsud, his driver Abdullah Mehsud and his personal guards.

Reader Comments (37)

  • MA
    Nov 20, 2013 - 2:16PM

    Won’t be long before the truth comes out.

    Recommend

  • Droner
    Nov 20, 2013 - 2:40PM

    Aalat…..Government scared from blockage of NATO supplies of US.

    I see PMLN playing as a Cat. Where as PTI as a Tiger.Recommend

  • cyrus
    Nov 20, 2013 - 3:17PM

    IK did good to delay NATO Blockage. USA wants to leave Afghanistan in 2014. So if we block their route, we want them to stay more!

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  • sa
    Nov 20, 2013 - 3:17PM

    good work Mr.Aziz

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  • khan Sahib
    Nov 20, 2013 - 3:29PM

    It clearly indicated a new agreement signed by the Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan and American authorities as disclosed by the advisor himself. Now please donot keep blaming former rulers of any future drone attacks.

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  • Teen Dabay Wala
    Nov 20, 2013 - 3:35PM

    America does not want 70 percent of Pakistanis to hate it
    It wants 100% Pakistanis to hate it :D

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  • Ali
    Nov 20, 2013 - 4:01PM

    PTI Zindabad..They know how to manage affairs with so-called lion’s party (PML-N).

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  • O B Server
    Nov 20, 2013 - 4:25PM

    Good, keep the talks going on and on to avoid drone attacks then!

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  • Last Word
    Nov 20, 2013 - 4:55PM

    It is a pity that the state machinery which has been repeatedly stonewalled by these bunch of thugs on talks issue is still bending double to accommodate them. Make no mistake that they will never agree for talks in the first place on temporary halting of drone attacks and even if they do, would put uncompilable conditions.

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  • Ali S
    Nov 20, 2013 - 5:06PM

    @Droner:

    Another gem of wisdom by a supporter of the great Tiger. Blocking NATO routes mostly affects the livelihoods of the poor drivers – who incidentally are almost all from KPK. NATO will just reroute its supply by air. What will it take for people to see how idiotic the PTI (and IK’s statements in particular) is proving itself to be. I voted for PTI in May, and I really regret that decision.

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  • goldconsumer
    Nov 20, 2013 - 5:07PM

    US assured us many things. We are dead by US assurances!

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  • Kamran
    Nov 20, 2013 - 5:37PM

    What a joke Talibans continue to kill Pakistani soldiers in NWaziristan killed two recently but US should stop drone attacks during peace talks PTI PMLN first tell the truth who you are negotiating with Barbaric Talibans

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  • WeWillWin
    Nov 20, 2013 - 5:58PM

    @Ali S, are you so naive to understand that Air routes are very expensive. Moving a truck would cost 100X time more than the value.

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  • polpot
    Nov 20, 2013 - 6:36PM

    So now the TTP will agree to peace talks within the confines of the Constitution?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Hmmmm.

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  • ahmer
    Nov 20, 2013 - 7:05PM

    “Obama told sartaj aziz and nawaz shareef that we are desperate”

    Ya, then Obama wept like a baby and asked Pakistan to help USA militarily and help.

    Suddenly both nawaz and sartaj woke up and found they were sucking each others thumbs..

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  • M@ni
    Nov 20, 2013 - 7:27PM

    Sartaj aziz is a dead rabbit for uSA, they will drone when they want. Now as they know there will be no peace talk so let’s say this. Huh

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  • Mirza
    Nov 20, 2013 - 7:45PM

    Haven’t we heard it all before too? Tell us something new and more funny!

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  • Syed
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:10PM

    Well thats so foolish to think about assurity… one protect its interest in the world today, be it US or any other country or even in a professional life… Pakistan and its governing rulers are foolish to think about assurity and making a public statement trying to implicate that we had assurity but they didnt oblige in the end… getting a esape goat route for their own fault.

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  • Rex Minor
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:21PM

    Now that Mr Obama has lost his credibility among his own people as well as the European allies, the adjutant of Nawaz Sharif is being told to put out a new coder? The NSA has a complete control of the digital communications in the Pakistan area.

    Rex Minor

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  • Rex Minor
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:25PM

    @Ali S:
    You are a clever one? why don’t the NATO use the othedr route. Have you the ideda what is being taken out of the country?

    Rex Minor

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  • Akhtarrao
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:36PM

    During dilaogue drone would be stopped
    it is a news?
    After that drone will fly over NW

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  • fawad
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:47PM

    America will protect their own interests. Nothing strange about it. We cannot rely on them for our interests. I don’t trust them nor our own government.

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  • Indra
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:48PM

    Mashallah.If that helps.My opinion is that Pakistanis should be forcefully reverted to Paganism and Idol worship.Maybe its time? time for us to just nudge you from the east?..;).Peace.

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  • unbelievable
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:50PM

    So why haven’t the American’s made this public? Either they don’t want to improve their standing with the Pakistani public or it’s just not true. I suspect the later.

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  • Indra
    Nov 20, 2013 - 8:52PM

    Admit it. Muslims are scared of a superior Christian forces.

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  • Raj - USA
    Nov 20, 2013 - 9:04PM

    If I were a Pakistani, my blood would boil after seeing this 5 minute video of how brutally the talibans are beating up Pakistani soldiers.
    Pakistanis should watch this video, (warning: it is very graphic) and decide who is their enemy and who should they talk to.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzm1m9pakistani-soldiers-being-beaten-by-talibanwebcam

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  • Nov 20, 2013 - 9:23PM

    Dear ‘Goldconsumer’

    First and foremost, it is simply imperative for us to prevent any mistrust from forming between our nations. Our decade long partnership has shown the importance of our combined efforts against our common enemies. We’ve been able to capture some of the top terrorist leaders through each other’s assistance. At the same time, our leaders continue to meet to address our shared concerns; as evident by the recent meeting between PM Nawaz Sharif and President Obama. There is no reason for us to be pessimistic in regards to our partnership. At the end of the day, we share a common stance in regards to our peace objectives in the region. And we will continue to coordinate and communicate for the sake of preventing any issues from arising.

    Ali Khan
    DET, United States Central Command

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  • Naseer
    Nov 20, 2013 - 9:29PM

    Drone is the most effective weapon and should be used as tool to bring the Talibans to the negotiating table.

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  • Rex Minor
    Nov 20, 2013 - 10:05PM

    @sa:

    Good work Aziz or good work Imran?

    TTP will not talk if drones do not stop and army does not leave.

    -KPK will stop the Exit route for NATO if drones do not stop since they prevent Peace talks, Obama blinks and says (according to Aziz) that no droning during talks,
    KPK to move next, logic…Exit route open as long as drones do not operate.

    In the meantime the Talibans have a new managemenr and is Aziz reliable and trustworthy?
    Let us start all over again none of the parties are interested, reliable or trustworthy. The Talibans have all the time they need to sii it out…

    Rex Minor

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  • Eddied
    Nov 20, 2013 - 10:14PM

    What assurances have they gotten from the TTP that they will not murder any civilians or soldiers during these talks?…perhaps they should just surrender to the TTP?….

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  • g
    Nov 20, 2013 - 10:17PM

    … unless we have a high value target, that is.

    America does not care what anyone in Pakistan thinks about it. Pakistanis are the most duplicitous people on earth so we don’t care about any promises we make with you. The best thing would be for the Taliban to take over Pak so we could confront and eradicate the enemy easily. Pakistan sucss. I know you will not publish this because you are all cowards that can’t tolerate an open dialog. your loss.

    Freedom does set you free – a bit redundant. You wouldn’t know.

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  • unbelievable
    Nov 20, 2013 - 10:53PM

    @Raj – USA:

    If I were a Pakistani, my blood would
    boil after seeing this 5 minute video
    of how brutally the talibans are
    beating up Pakistani soldiers.

    Any other country the people would be outraged and take to the streets demanding military retaliation – in Pakistan they shrug their shoulders – worse yet their own military doesn’t seem to care. If it doesn’t involve blasphemy, India or the USA the people just don’t care.

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Nov 20, 2013 - 11:45PM

    @Eddied:

    None!! Besides one can never trust Pashtuns on their words if it is not in their Pakhtunwaali interest. Case in point Afghanistan enered into an agreement with the Brits in history but later
    the Amir ordered their massacre including their ambassador and not a single soul from the anglo indian army returned safely. When complained the Amir said that english is not his language and therefore the contract was not valid.

    Rex Minor

    Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Nov 21, 2013 - 12:03AM

    of course ! America has droned the peace talk & have placed selectively Fazlullah in place of , who is never going to talk peace with Pakistan,drones will continue at times and day of America`s choosing not us….Aziz sb wishful thinking…..is just trying to pacify IK……and buying time on behalf of USA. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Nov 21, 2013 - 12:21AM

    @unbelievable:
    @Raj – USA:
    We have no shame. We are a dead nation. The country was made on the basis of hatred toward our history and common culture and it would end at the hands of violence and hatred. I hope I am wrong but there is nothing positive on the horizon.
    The reason TTP and Taliban are doing this because they know they can do it and get away with it. Taliban have deep roots in our society which is not bothered about humanity.
    Regards,
    M

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  • Midhat
    Nov 21, 2013 - 12:38AM

    @Raj – USA:
    Having lost 50,000 lives we know more than anyone else that TTP they are our enemies. The reason for talks with them is the same as USA’s talks with Afgan Taliban. We have exercised all our military options ( war for 10 years now)and it has gone worse. Peace talks seem to be the only option left.. War is always counter productive and drones that kill innocents adds more fuel to the fire.

    Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Nov 21, 2013 - 10:43AM

    Today’s (21/11/13) drone’s strike on a children’s madarsa has proven that how much US fulfills its commitments and how much inveterate liar,hypocrite and deceiver US is and how much US respects and honors Pakistan’s sovereignty and airspace!!!!
    When Pakistani leadership shall admit and confess this harsh and bitter reality,id est,US can never be trusted or trustworthy?

    At least now Pakistani leadership has to observe and watch keenly and deeply the US’ inner face and intentions that how much US is sincere and honest with Pakistan?????

    Recommend

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