NAYPYITAW, MYANMAR: Pakistan is "seeking clarification" about a US drone strike against Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday, after US officials said Mansour was likely killed in an air strike on Pakistani soil.
"I have seen the reports. We are seeking clarification," Nafees Zakaria said in a statement. He added that Pakistan wanted the Taliban to return to the negotiating table to end the long war in Afghanistan. "Military action is not a solution," he added.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was notified of the air strike which took place a day earlier, but declined to elaborate on the timing of the notification.
Kerry further said that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour posed a "continuing imminent threat" to US personnel in Afghanistan and to Afghans, and was a threat to peace.
US officials in Washington said on Saturday US missile-firing drones had attacked Mansour and probably killed him in a strike in southwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border, authorised by US President Barack Obama.
Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour 'killed' in US drone strike in Pakistan
"Yesterday, the United States conducted a precision air strike that targeted Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in a remote area of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Mansour posed a continuing, imminent threat" to US personnel and Afghans, Kerry told a news conference in the Myanmar capital.
"This action sends a clear message to the world that we will continue to stand with our Afghan partners as they work to build a more stable, united, secure and prosperous Afghanistan."
Kerry said the leaders of both Pakistan and Afghanistan were notified of the air strike but he declined to elaborate on the timing of the notifications, which he said included a telephone call from him to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Afghanistan probes Mansour's fate after deadly US drone attack
"Peace is what we want. Mansour was a threat to that effort and to bringing an end to the violence and suffering people of Afghanistan have endured for so many years now. He was also directly opposed to the peace negotiation and to the reconciliation process," Kerry said.