Reaction from Washington: Talks with TTP Pakistan’s internal matter, says US

Published: November 4, 2013
US and Pakistan continue to have a vital, shared strategic interest in ending extremist violence, says State Department official. DESIGN: JAMAL KHURSHID

US and Pakistan continue to have a vital, shared strategic interest in ending extremist violence, says State Department official. DESIGN: JAMAL KHURSHID


The United States insisted it has a shared interest with Pakistan in ending extremist violence after Islamabad accused it of scuttling efforts towards peace talks by killing Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike.

Hakimullah was killed when a drone targeted his car in a compound in North Waziristan Agency on Friday.

The death threatens the government’s efforts to begin talks with the TTP. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar condemned the US strike as a “drone attack on the peace process”, saying a team of religious scholars was about to meet the TTP with a view to starting peace talks when Hakimullah was killed.

“Brick by brick in the last seven weeks we tried to evolve a process by which we could bring peace to Pakistan and what have you (the US) done?” he said. “You have scuttled it on the eve, 18 hours before a formal delegation of respected Ulema was to fly to Miramshah and hand over this formal invitation.”

A State Department official declined to confirm that Hakimullah had been killed and did not specifically address Nisar’s comments, saying the issue of whether to negotiate with the TTP was an internal matter for Pakistan.

“The United States and Pakistan continue to have a vital, shared strategic interest in ending extremist violence so as to build a more prosperous, stable and peaceful region,” he added.

Foreign ministry said it had summoned US Ambassador Richard Olson to protest over the drone strike that killed Hakimullah, and another that struck a day earlier.

A ministry statement also stressed that despite the drone strike the government was “determined to continue with efforts to engage the TTP”.

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said it would block NATO supply convoys transiting Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on their way to Afghanistan.

Pakistan had blocked all NATO supply routes through its territory for seven months in 2012 in protest at a botched US air raid on Pakistani border post in Salala, Mohmand Agency, that killed 24 soldiers.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th,2013.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • PakPower
    Nov 4, 2013 - 3:54AM

    This relationship is a joke. Pakistan seriously needs to consider this all pain no gain relation with the US.


  • Arindom
    Nov 4, 2013 - 5:45AM

    A Drone-a-day. Keeps terror away.


  • Nov 4, 2013 - 7:46AM

    Quite agree with Washington on this. Imran and his band of pygmies can protest all they like. Like every other double deal Pakistan does, you guys will protest for a while, make all the noises you have to make and then this will be gone for you will have a bigger problem at hand that requires the much hated US $ bill to take care of it.


  • Sehr Siddiqui
    Nov 4, 2013 - 8:53AM

    Our immature leadership specially the recent entrants most of which are nothing more than senseless debaters have confused the whole issue. Without comprehending the whole issue they appear on TV channels and make stupid remarks which exposes their level of understanding of national issues.Lets call spade a spade. Drones have done what should have been done by us. While US had announced head money for Hakimullah Mahsud, Pakistan had also announced head money for this killing animal. He killed my armed forces and civilians in thousands and yet some people will term him Shaheed. To say the least, Thank you America. Please continue.


  • Blunt
    Nov 4, 2013 - 9:10AM

    Talks with Taliban Pakistan’s internal
    So should be strategy to deal with Taliban, my lord.


  • Asif khokher
    Nov 4, 2013 - 9:13AM

    If Talk with TTP is internal matter of Pakistan then why US is making Drone Attacks. US also showed intentions to talk to Taliban earlier, and now running away from the process and not taking interest. This is totally a irresponsible statement from US and not bothering to resolve the Terrorism issue.


  • Ramesh Powar
    Nov 4, 2013 - 9:16AM

    Whatever be their official utterances, the blunt message from US is this – “Hakimullah Mehsud is a wanted man for us. You guys are trying to seat him at the high chair where he will negotiate and cut deals with the government of a country. It is going to make us look stupid. So we will not let it happen. Not now, not in future. Got it?”


  • Super Star
    Nov 4, 2013 - 9:23AM

    How about Chaudhry Nisar telling his wife and sons to remounce their US Citizenship as a mark of protest for the drone strike on the martryr


  • Gratgy
    Nov 4, 2013 - 9:25AM

    Basically when Pakistan protested, Washington said “Talk to the hand”


  • Tabish Bilgrami
    Nov 4, 2013 - 9:25AM

    The gain is in form of dollars which the politicians get. Secondly beggars are not choosers buddy.


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