Nisar refuses to confirm death of Mullah Mansoor in US drone strike

Published: May 24, 2016
Express News screen-grab of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan addressing a press conference in Islamabad on May 24, 2016. PHOTO: INP

Express News screen-grab of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan addressing a press conference in Islamabad on May 24, 2016. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Tuesday he could not confirm that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor had been killed in a US drone strike as the body recovered from near the Afghan border was charred beyond recognition.

Nisar told reporters that DNA samples had been collected from the remains and would be tested against a relative who came forward to claim the body.

“The government of Pakistan cannot announce this without a scientific and legal basis,” he said.

Afghan Taliban chief was reportedly killed in a rare US drone strike deep inside Pakistan in Kuchaki area of Naushki district, over 200 kilometres away from Quetta, Balochistan.

“From  international media reports, including those from Afghanistan, it can be said Mansoor was the target of the attack and has been killed.” The US, he said, notified Pakistan of the attack seven hours after the attack.

Pakistan summons US envoy over drone strike inside territory

US justification for drone strike “against international law”

The interior minister argued the US drone strike targeting Afghan Taliban leader while he was on Pakistani soil was not legal.

“For the US government to say that whoever is a threat to them will be targeted wherever they are, that is against international law,” he said.

“Irrespective of who was the target of the attack, the government strongly condemns the drone strike.”

Unclear whether Mullah Mansour was killed in Pakistan or Afghanistan: US

Pakistan will put forth its stance on the attack after due consultation and viewpoint of the civil and military stakeholders and taking into account intelligence information, said the interior minister.

At the same time, he advised the US to decide what policy it sees effective in this region because the peace dialogue from the Afghan side was being led by the Taliban chief.

Mullah Mansoor had reportedly travelled to several countries of the world, why was he only targeted in Pakistan, Nisar raised a question.

On Monday evening, Pakistan summoned US ambassador David Hale, conveying that the strike was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and a breach of the United Nation’s charter on territorial integrity.

It was also conveyed that such actions could adversely impact the ongoing efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) for facilitating peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban.

While the Washington said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was notified of the strike, Islamabad denounced the attack and termed it a violation of its air space, saying only negotiations could bring a lasting peace to Afghanistan.

Punjab Assembly adopts resolution condemning US drone strike in Pakistan

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

Responding to a reporter’s question, Nisar said people should appreciate how drone strikes have decreased in the recent years.

He lambasted Washington over its drone strikes inside Pakistan, saying, “Not an independent or sovereign country can allow such drone attacks on its soil.”

Commenting on the loopholes that have let illegal migrants enter into the Pakistani territory, the security’s top czar said, “For the last 40 years now, more than 0.3 million migrants have reached Pakistan. About 30,000 people cross the border on daily basis and there is no monitoring system for that. It’s like a needle out of a haystack to keep a check on every single person.”

However, he said, we are trying to improve the system.”

“There has arisen a lot of uncertainties as to what will happen next and I would like to see the reaction by the Afghan Taliban after their leader has been killed.”

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Tripper
    May 24, 2016 - 7:35PM

    The “agencies” can tell you that. Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqui
    May 24, 2016 - 7:53PM

    Taliban have confirmed it. That is what matters.Recommend

  • Bloomer
    May 24, 2016 - 8:52PM

    “Not an independent or sovereign country can allow such drone attacks on its soil.”
    Anybody think that the Pakistan military wants to get into a shooting war with the USA over the Afghan Taliban? Pretty clear that the Pakistan military isn’t going to risk it’s high tech military toys by defending “strategic assets” – especially when chance of victory is slim/none. Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    May 24, 2016 - 9:22PM

    Is he Pakistan’s Interior Minister or the Taliban’s? He just stopped short of declaring a 40 day mourning in Pakistan officially, and giving a state funeral to the venerable MullahRecommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 25, 2016 - 2:45AM

    He cried like a baby when Hakimullah Masood was killed and once again he looks so sad. He and Taliban Khan are from same school. Recommend

  • syed & syed
    May 25, 2016 - 2:54AM

    If US is such a Pakistan lover why his drones cannot detect Mulla Fazal Ullah- a menace for PakistanRecommend

  • IndianDude
    May 25, 2016 - 3:18AM

    …Nisar refuses to confirm death of Mullah Mansoor in US drone strike..

    No big news. Most of the Pakistani believes that not only brave US Navy Seals did not kill osama in pakistani army base abbottabad but also that osama had died 10 years ago due to kidney problem in the mountains.Recommend

  • hassan
    May 25, 2016 - 3:47AM

    Nissar Bahu, your ministry was not ready to accept that Osama Bin Laden was living in Pakistan, but US navy has found him, killed him, and took his body with them from Abbotabad.Now it makes no difference to the world that you accept OR not, the death of this Mullah Mansur. So be happy within your “ministry” and enjoy the evening.Recommend

  • PP
    May 25, 2016 - 6:48AM

    Which sovereign nation harbors terrorists on such a large scale? Pakistan’s claim to sovereignty has been forfeited by such actions. Imagine what will happen if Hilary or Trump gets elected as the next President. Recommend

  • ajeet
    May 25, 2016 - 7:38AM

    Looks like everyone is having strategic depth inside Pakistan.Recommend

    May 30, 2016 - 8:48AM

    It is pity that Mr. Nisar still refuses to confirm the death of Mullah Mansoor, Afghan Taliban Chief by US drone attacks despite overwhelming evidences. Now, DNA report has also confirmed the death. On the other hand, US from the very beginning has been issuing statements that Mullah was killed by drone. The statements by US and Pakistani Interior Minister reflect two things: the American intelligence is more reliable than Pakistan’s, if it is not true, the Minister is willingly and intentionally misleading the nation for fear of people’s retaliation. Whatever may be the fact, but it is true that US will continue to attack by drone and Pakistan will be issuing meaningless statement to befool its own people. Recommend

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