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Monday, November 4, 2013

Pakistan calls Mehsud drone attack (murder of peace effort)

A hardened warrior, Sajna lacks proper educational and religious credentials.

Published — Sunday 3 November 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government Saturday accused the US of sabotaging peace talks with domestic Taleban fighters by killing their leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike.
The drone strike that killed Mehsud in the North Waziristan tribal area came a day before the government was to send a three-member delegation of clerics to the region with a formal invitation to start peace talks, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
Khan called the drone attack “murder” of the peace effort, but hoped the process could continue. He said he warned the US ambassador previously that American drone strikes should not be carried out while Pakistan was trying to hold peace talks and no Taleban leader should be targeted.
The government later summoned the US ambassador to complain. When asked whether he thought the US was trying to deliberately scuttle the peace process, the minister responded: “Absolutely.”
“The efforts have been ambushed,” the minister said. He did not say what he felt the US stood to gain but questioned: “Why do they want us to be insecure?”
Another prominent political leader, Imran Khan, whose party controls the government in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, threatened to block trucks carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan over the strike.
He said he would push the provincial assembly to adopt a resolution to block the supplies and would do the same nationally.
“Dialogue has been broken with this drone attack,” Imran Khan said.
The interior minister said as soon as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returns from abroad, a national security meeting will be convened to discuss US-Pakistan relations and cooperation.
Taleban commanders said they wanted to replace Mehsud with the movement’s number two, Khan Said, who is also known as Sajna.

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