US forces will continue to go after threats on Pakistani soil: Obama

Published: May 23, 2016
Pakistan denounced the US drone strike on Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour as a violation of its air space PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan denounced the US drone strike on Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour as a violation of its air space PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI: President Barack Obama on Monday confirmed Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US air strike, hailing his death as an “important milestone” in efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.

Saturday’s bombing raid, the first known American assault on a top Afghan Taliban leader on Pakistani soil, marks a major blow to the militant movement, which saw a new resurgence under Mansour.

US didn’t notify Pakistan until after deadly strike

“We have removed the leader of an organisation that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and Coalition forces, to wage war against the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups like Al-Qaeda,” the US president said in a statement.

Senior Taliban sources have also confirmed the killing to AFP, adding that a shura (council) is under way to select a new leader.

Obama, who is on a three day visit to Vietnam, said Mansour had rejected efforts “to seriously engage in peace talks and end the violence that has taken the lives of countless innocent Afghan men, women and children.”

He called on the Taliban’s remaining leadership to engage in peace talks as the “only real path” to ending the attritional conflict.

Mansour was elevated to the leadership of the Taliban in July 2015 following the revelation that the group’s founder Mullah Omar had died two years earlier.

Pakistan denounces US strike believed to have killed Afghan Taliban chief: FO

He was killed on Saturday near the town of Ahmad Lal in the south western part of Balochistan, when missiles fired from a drone struck the car he was travelling in.

It was believed to be the first time the United States has targeted a senior Taliban figure in Pakistan.

Pakistan, which says it is hosting the Afghan Taliban’s top leadership in order to exert influence over them, has lambasted the United States over the drone attack, calling it a violation of its sovereignty.

In his statement, Obama said American forces would continue to go after threats on Pakistani soil.

“We will work on shared objectives with Pakistan, where terrorists that threaten all our nations must be denied safe haven,” he said.

But the strike could signal a fresh blow for US-Pakistan ties, which have improved markedly in recent years since the killing of al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden in 2011.

Who will succeed Mullah Mansoor? 

The US has carried out hundreds of drone strikes in the Pakistan, mainly in the country’s border tribal regions with Afghanistan, with leaked documents showing Islamabad had quietly consented, despite publicly protesting.

This time, however, both sides insist Pakistan was informed only after the fact. Leaked diplomatic cables from 2010 had indicated that Islamabad wanted Balochistan to remain off-limits.

The meeting of the Taliban’s Supreme Council continued into its second day Monday, according to senior militant sources, though the group has yet to release an official statement.

A senior Taliban source told AFP the killing had sent shockwaves through the leadership and many were laying low in Pakistan while some had fled across the border to Afghanistan.

“The shura meeting is continuing at an undisclosed location, they keep on moving due to the fear of US drone strike,” the source told AFP.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • OMAR
    May 23, 2016 - 11:04AM

    way to go man, take em all out.Recommend

  • Blackwater
    May 23, 2016 - 11:05AM

    So Obama has expanded the theater of the war from Fata/ Waziristan to Baluchistan. If Pak doesn’t mend its way in time, then it will be soon to Aabpara/ GHQ.Recommend

  • Abdul Awwal
    May 23, 2016 - 11:34AM

    Financial & material aid is much more important than self respect to any Pakistani. So the drone strikes shall continue regardless.Recommend

  • Isolated
    May 23, 2016 - 11:34AM

    Pakistan is being hit by american missiles in the last decade, from Fata to waziristan and now to Balochistan. But surprisingly, NO reaction from pakistan’s “iron brother” China ?? Recommend

  • rizwan
    May 23, 2016 - 11:35AM

    Any thing we can do about it???Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    May 23, 2016 - 11:38AM

    Pakistan must reciprocate this gracious gesture and send its drones to the US-Mexican border to ‘help’ our coalition partner take out various manner of banditos and desperados up to no good !Recommend

  • Gary
    May 23, 2016 - 11:51AM

    POTUS reads the riot act. Recommend

  • Asif
    May 23, 2016 - 11:53AM

    China has converted Gwadar to a Chinese military base at the mouth of Strait of Hormuz where most of the oil imported by West passes through including US. In essence Pakistan has picked side with China in event of deteriorating US-China relationship. Pakistan lives in a glass house and it should stop throwing stones around, but then looking at the quality of leadership at the helm of civilian leadership: I doubt they understand as to what they have done. Recommend

  • Patriot
    May 23, 2016 - 12:33PM

    Does that mean other countries have the right to go into U.S Soil as well if they feel there sovereignty is integrated by elements within U.S ???? The same way U.S is doing unto others ????Recommend

  • SKChadha
    May 23, 2016 - 12:34PM

    Focus of War on Terror is slowly shifting to the right place?Recommend

  • pessimistic
    May 23, 2016 - 12:44PM

    US does not want peace in Afghanistan. The news of mullah Omer’s death stalled the peace process, now again the process will be stalled. Taliban are a reality in Afghan war theatre, they have to be recognised or the war will go on till another fifty years till the US collapse. Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 23, 2016 - 12:46PM

    In his statement, Obama said American forces would continue to go after threats on Pakistani soil.

    Pakistan, which says it is hosting the Afghan Taliban’s top leadership in order to exert influence over them, has lambasted the United States over the drone attack, calling it a violation of its sovereignty.

    The two stateaments are contridictory. Fact is that the USA does not regard Pakistan as a sovereign country and Pakistan army is unable to defend its sovereignty neither in air nor on ground.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • SB
    May 23, 2016 - 12:51PM

    Never seen any sovereign country (other than Pakistan) taking up so much public humiliations from another country. Recommend

  • Karthikeyan
    May 23, 2016 - 12:53PM

    I think now Pakistan will get one F-16 Parcel…Recommend

  • A Afridi
    May 23, 2016 - 1:16PM

    Great Stuff…..Thank you.Recommend

  • harkol
    May 23, 2016 - 1:19PM


    Any thing we can do about it???

    A lot actually. Pakistan can take them out instead of waiting for others to do it.Recommend

  • ajeet
    May 23, 2016 - 1:27PM

    Borat is quiet?Recommend

  • khattak
    May 23, 2016 - 1:35PM

    Thanks Obama Saib. Precision target is far better than carpet bombing. The Taliban leaders & its supporters need to be droned to paradise first, then the foot soldiers will follow. Pashtun nation is very grateful to Mr. Obama & US for doing the right thing at the end.Recommend

  • Sad but True
    May 23, 2016 - 1:53PM

    Is this not an Act of War?Recommend

  • ali
    May 23, 2016 - 2:13PM

    should i mind if some pakistani tells me he wanna blast on american soil next time?Recommend

  • Hasnain
    May 23, 2016 - 2:25PM

    Don’t worry, we will get aid. Probably a couple of million dollars for our Prime Minister.Recommend

  • May 23, 2016 - 2:28PM

    US lost afghan war. accept it and withdraw forces. Mr Obama you failed miserably and your offences bring more bloodshed in the region for americans, afghans and pakistani people.Recommend

  • zafar
    May 23, 2016 - 2:36PM

    Likewise Pakistan or any other country has the right to launch a drone targeting a car in which Obama is traveling on US soil as demanded by equality and justice if US is killing civilians in another country. The fact that it is not possible is what gives rise to terrorism in the first place. Recommend

  • Expert
    May 23, 2016 - 2:36PM

    Seems to me someday it will be revealed that it was actually a Pakistani drone and US agreed to take the pressureRecommend

  • Hakim Afghani
    May 23, 2016 - 2:52PM

    Now Pakistan is backyard of Afghanistan.
    U.S drones can fly anytime and kill anyone. Interesting!

  • Hakim Afghani
    May 23, 2016 - 2:54PM

    @Shahid Akram:
    Are you trying to convince yourself or what? LOL
    U.S is a super power and they will stay in Afghanistan for ever and you can’t do anything about it. You and your grand son’s will see American staying in Afghanistan. Mock my word.Recommend

  • Travis
    May 23, 2016 - 3:01PM

    The business of sheltering undesirables just went bust !!
    Does anyone else want to know why the F-16s are not coming??Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 23, 2016 - 3:25PM

    @Sad but True:
    Is this not an Act of War?

    Indeed it is and the man has spoken;; unfortunately Pakistan has no one to answer the call, the elected man is seeking medics. The shomanship is coming to end.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Hassan Ilyas
    May 23, 2016 - 3:27PM

    I guess those who r commenting here have no idea about US Politics and its strategies, guys let the US election over, everything will be back to normal.Recommend

  • Menon
    May 23, 2016 - 3:40PM


    Pakistan can definitely try and go into the US.

    Since, Pakistan is fond of the UN, there is a UN resolution for eliminating terrorists and terroist leaders. When one uses Pakistan UN logic, yes, the US can go into Pakistan to eliminate terrorists hidden by Pakistan.Recommend

  • Hakim Afghani
    May 23, 2016 - 3:59PM

    @Hassan Ilyas:
    When Mr.Trump become President of the U.S. He will add 10,000 extra U.S troops in Afghanistan and he will go after every single Taliban who threatens U.S interests.

    Sadly your point of view is very wrong and things will be super bad for [Pakistan] once Mr.Trump is elected as the next President of the U.S.A.

    So Pakistan must get ready for Mr.Trump real pain or change his Taliban policy before it’s too late. The Ball is in Pakistan’s court… FOR NOW ONLY!!! Won’t Last for long!Recommend

  • Sad but True
    May 23, 2016 - 4:36PM

    @Shahid Akram:

    Are you not an ally with US in the war in Afghanistan? If they have lost the you too have lost.Recommend

  • Sandip
    May 23, 2016 - 6:51PM

    Very surprising that the very talkative ISPR chief’s twitter account has gone completely silent on a matter that is essentially in the military domain. Ah- This is Pakistan. Here the ISPR bird keeps tweeting on all things civilian while it clams up when it comes to “professional matters” in the domain of the armed forces. Guess the only place to discuss and tweet “professional matters” is the core commanders conference. Boyz will forever remain boyz.Recommend

  • May 23, 2016 - 11:02PM

    @Sad but True:
    Dear its a war for resources not to liberate or democratize anyone, its also sad but trueRecommend

  • Sad but True
    May 24, 2016 - 12:52AM

    I agree with you. Drones (National bird of Pakistan) is a war on your terrorists resources.Recommend

  • Shaikh Mohommad
    May 24, 2016 - 2:00AM

    It is sad that political leaders of Pakistan are silent on the American attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty. It is a fact that Pakistan Army is co-operating with US simply because it wants to continue to receive Military Aid. In short, Pakistan Army is a mercenary army.Recommend

  • Abbassin
    May 24, 2016 - 11:46AM

    @Hakim Afghani: With over 140,000 soldiers, fighting for eleven long years and spending a Trillion$ did not win them the war-and yet you think that by sending a mere 10,000 soldiers will result in victory. As for Pakistan, I suppose they should get ready to open more refugee camps and be ready to receive another Three million plus refugees, should Mr. Trump win the election and decide to embark on this misadventure.The powers that be must realize that the road to peace in Afghanistan does not go through only Pakistan,it is a collective responsibility of the world community,to bring all of the stake holders together, otherwise peace will remain elusive as ever.Recommend

  • oats
    May 24, 2016 - 7:56PM

    @Hakim Afghani: The American public is tired of the never ending war in Afghanistan so the hope of many is just to wall off the border that Afghanistan has with Pakistan to contain the people there so they don’t come to Pakistan. What I can never understand is why the Afghan refugees prefer to stay in Pakistan instead of going to where their Indian masters live in New Dehli.Recommend

  • May 26, 2016 - 2:29PM

    As, the Americans by their self admitting that Mula Mansoor was returning from Iran, I much astonished why the Americans didn’t target him inside Iran territory. Americans were familiar from his movement and they effortlessly can target that man in Afghanistan or in Iran, why every time they blackmailing Pakistan and showing dreadful image of Pakistan by targeting these evils inside Pakistan territory. We got tired from listening denunciation from our Government. If Pakistan does not take some solid and strong steps then we will see the next target will be somebody else in Peshawar, then in Islamabad, and this need to be scrutinize and investigate that how Afghan citizen got Pakistani Identity Card. We appeal our Govt to cancel all the CNIC and Passports which have been allotted to these evils(Afghani).Recommend

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