US drone strike in Balochistan vitiated bilateral ties: Sartaj Aziz

Published: June 10, 2016
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Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs says Washington abandons Islamabad when it doesn’t need help PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs says Washington abandons Islamabad when it doesn’t need help PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s senior aide Sartaj Aziz told a US delegation on Friday that a drone strike in Balochistan targeting Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour not only affected Pakistan’s sovereignty, it also vitiated bilateral ties between the two countries.

A high-level US delegation called on Adviser to PM and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Friday, a Foreign Office statement said.

Ambassador Richard Olson, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and Dr Peter Lavoy, Senior Adviser and Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council comprised the US delegation, it added.

PHOTO: PID

The participants held candid discussions on bilateral relations, regional security situation and Afghan peace process in the wake of drone strike in Naushki area on May 21 that killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

Aziz told the delegation that the airstrike was a breach of the principles of the United Nation’s charter and made it clear that any such attacks in future will be detrimental to common desire of strengthening relations.

Pakistan hints at reassessing US ties

He said the strike had seriously undermined ongoing efforts for Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The strike occurred at such a time when Pakistan, along with other Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) countries, was engaged in efforts to revive talks between Afghan government and Taliban.

Foreign Secretary Chaudhry recalled that it was decided in the fifth QCG meeting on May 18 that peace negotiations remained the only option for a political settlement.

He insisted it would require collective efforts on the part of all QCG members to promote lasting peace in Afghanistan.

In response to US queries on safe havens for Taliban, it was emphasised that Pakistan was already pursuing its objective of eliminating all militants and terrorists from its soil in accordance with the National Action Plan.

At the same time, the country would have to safeguard its own security through better border management and early repatriation of Afghan refugees.

Pakistan said it also expected action by Afghan forces against the operatives of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan. These steps would also help promote better relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and reduce mistrust, it maintained.

Dr Peter Lavoy, while conveying US President Barack Obama’s good wishes for the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speedy recovery, said that Obama was committed to improving relations with Pakistan as highlighted during Nawaz’s visit to Washington in October 2015.

Pakistan has signalled that it may reassess its ties with the United States in the wake of recent developments, including closer defence ties between Washington and New Delhi.

China tells world to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty

“Relations between Pakistan and the US need to be reassessed,” said Aziz at a news conference on Thursday.

Speaking against the backdrop of apparent strains in ties between the US and Pakistan as a result of the recent drone strike in Balochistan, the adviser conceded that Washington “abandons us when it doesn’t need our help.”

“This has been happening for the last 60 years. The US approaches Pakistan whenever it needs our help but abandons us when its objectives are achieved,” he said.

US delegation calls on army chief

Later, the high-level US delegation, including General John Nicholson, Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, a statement issued by the military’s media wing said.

A high-level US delegation calls on Army chief General Raheel Sharif at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on June 9, 2016. PHOTO: ISPR

“Regional security situation with particular reference to border management and peace and stability in Afghanistan in the post May 21 US drone strike environment came under discussion,” the ISPR said.

According to the statement, the army chief expressed his serious concern over the US drone strike in Balochistan.

“COAS highlighted as to how it had impacted the mutual trust and respect and was counterproductive in consolidating the gains of operation Zarb-e-Azb.”

The army chief upheld that terrorists of all hues are being targeted without any discrimination during Zarb-e-Azb.

“All stakeholders need to understand Pakistan’s challenges with regard to porous border, inter-tribal linkages and decades-old presence of over three million refugees. Blaming Pakistan for instability in Afghanistan is unfortunate.”

Raising the demand of targeted the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its chief Mullah Fazlullah in their bases in Afghanistan, General Raheel reiterated Pakistan’s resolve not to allow hostile intelligence agencies’ efforts of fomenting terrorism in the country.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Luccha
    Jun 10, 2016 - 10:41AM

    You fool me once, shame on you. You fool me twice, shame on me.Recommend

  • GHAZAL
    Jun 10, 2016 - 10:47AM

    WHAT IF USA reassess aid??Recommend

  • Justasking
    Jun 10, 2016 - 11:04AM

    And in the last 60 years of Pak’s ‘help’ to U.S., how much aid, grants and favors you have got from U.S.??Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 10, 2016 - 11:15AM

    No relationship can be built on hope and expectation, nor can it be based on duplicity and deceit. Relationship based on quantum of money received in Aid is transactional and requires goods to be delivered. Why the money is given for what purpose needs to be spelled out to the Pakistani people openly, not discussed behind closed doors. People must know what are the arrangements made behind closed doors, without any whitewashing. Running with the hare and hunting with the hound, is guaranteed to bring grief.Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Jun 10, 2016 - 11:41AM

    Pakistan needs to stand on its own two feet and will be the better for it. Others too will respect them. But this delegation is not high level nor competent to reach decisions just like Sartaj Aziz. Recommend

  • Hakim Afghani
    Jun 10, 2016 - 12:02PM

    End Good Taliban game else you will be Next North Korea!Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Baig
    Jun 10, 2016 - 12:06PM

    Drone attack inside Pakistan is a clear message that peace shouldn’t prevail in Afghanistan.Recommend

  • rex minor
    Jun 10, 2016 - 12:16PM

    The clintonians are coming forward to maintain tight hold of their colony in anticipation that Hillary will be the next president.

    Rex minorRecommend

  • kamal
    Jun 10, 2016 - 12:37PM

    These half measures are useless. The US – Pakistan relationship is now finished. Pakistan needs to make it clear to the US. US wants India to be their second most important non-NATO ally after Israel, so be it. We just have to ensure our own interests, the immediate one of which means checkmating all Indian and US conspiracies in Afghanistan. Recommend

  • turbo
    Jun 10, 2016 - 1:14PM

    @GHAZAL:
    Pakistan has suffered far more loss than the aid that is given. no aid would be better for Pakistan eventually!Recommend

  • anti US
    Jun 10, 2016 - 1:26PM

    wasted 30 years of Afghanistan n Pakistan with millions of lives lost, What US needs is another Vietnam. Pakistan should stop the peace process in Afghanistan n let them deal with their mess, Lets see how run-away superpower bring peace after 30 years of fightingRecommend

  • Tp
    Jun 10, 2016 - 1:45PM

    @Luccha:
    That is exactly what members of the US congress were saying after Mullah Omar and Osama.Recommend

  • GKA
    Jun 10, 2016 - 1:56PM

    Pakistan forgets that USA is its largest export market. If USA denies this market to them, Pakistan economy collapses. China and Saudi are no longer in the kind of situation that they could bail out Pakistan. And even if they did, it would be good for the US as it would mean that they are now picking up the bill of a transactional relationshipRecommend

  • GKA
    Jun 10, 2016 - 2:31PM

    @kamal: Agreed. And no trade please. Pakistan should look for other export markets. And should ban investment from US technology funds in its startups – no IT exports to US and NATO countries pleaseRecommend

  • qaiser ahmed
    Jun 10, 2016 - 3:43PM

    Mr Adviser, once again our SOVEREIGNTY is violated and you are threatening them that our bi-lateral ties have been vitiated. In case you missed it, our so called bilateral ties have been trampled into the ground by Modi’s recent visit to the USA.

    In any event , what impression do you think you make on these delegations. Our SOVEREIGNTY is violated and the best person the nation can put forward to confront the violators is an adviser to an absentee prime minister.

    How seriously do you think this delegation took this meeting?Recommend

  • kamal
    Jun 10, 2016 - 4:19PM

    @Hakim Afghani: Mr Afghani, we cannot make a country worse than what it has always been for centuries. Your bluster hides a weakness and a collective national Afghan failure and you know it.Recommend

  • Mubashir Munir
    Jun 10, 2016 - 4:47PM

    drama by foreign minister as govt will is included you say something while ask america to droneRecommend

  • Woz ahmed
    Jun 10, 2016 - 8:18PM

    @turbo:

    Stop all dependence on USA, but also stop dependence on China ?

    Frankly can’t be done.

    USA is our largest export maket and aid giver, China our largest lender and ‘investor’.

    I grew up during the Vietnam and Korean wars, never did I believe these two nations would be Ameicas closest allies and economic partners.

    We think nuclear weapons make us an economic superpower, no, without at least trying to integrate with the world economy, including our eastern neighbour we are just others pawn.

    Our population will hit 300 million and keep growing past 2050, investment in health and education is as powerful as investment in infrastructure, investment in defence is necessary, but produces no economic benefit..

    Sooner we wake up, sooner every Pakistani will achieve their true potential and potentially lead the Islamic world and beyond .Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jun 11, 2016 - 12:32AM

    @qaiser ahmed:
    Too bad Pakistan has no claim to SOVEREIGNTY, since clauses in UNSCR 1373 (viewable at UNSCR.org!) render “sovereignty” claims moot for any country that does not act against KNOWN terrorist groups (Good Taliban!) operating, sheltering, raising funds etc within its borders!Recommend

  • Jun 11, 2016 - 2:13AM

    its time to send back all afghan refugees back…not because we hate them but because they are afghan Taliban and some of them are spying for India and Afghanistan….secondly our economy is not that good so we cannot provide jobs to more than 30 lakh afghan refugees…and this is why the crime rate in Pakistan is increasing.Recommend

  • Mastishhk
    Jun 11, 2016 - 4:24AM

    Just look at Sartaj Aziz..Grinning like a schoolboy getting a prize.Recommend

  • kamal
    Jun 11, 2016 - 5:56AM

    The complete and strategic US embrace of India has distanced Pakistan from the US, not just the drone, and a very welcome turn of events as well for the long term benefit of PAkistan. It will finally allow Pakistan the chance to break away from the shackles of the US forever. US and India cannot damage or browbeat Pakistan. They know what havoc we can create in the region and beyond. China and Russia will not stand by if the US intervenes.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Jun 11, 2016 - 6:58AM

    Sartaj Aziz statements are Childish and tantrum. Nation states are expected to look after their own interests. Pakistan 1/4rd GDP came just from USA AID and 80% of which went to military.Recommend

  • Bharat
    Jun 11, 2016 - 7:08AM

    Best thing for Pakistan is to set up a station in Cuba and send some drones to the USARecommend

  • Salim Khan
    Jun 11, 2016 - 8:03AM

    I was laughing when Pakistan says its a ‘HIGH-LEVEL’ US delegation. Its not. It just shows the status of Pakistan in the eyes of Obama. Get real. The world wants Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists, everything good will follow. If not then Pakistan will be Isolated. This has been conveyed by USA repeatedly for the last 15 years. What is hard to understand? As long as terrorists roam on Pakistani roads freely and preach hate and act against its neighbors, these drone attacks will continue.Recommend

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