News / Asia

    Pakistan Summons US Ambassador Over Drone Strike

    FILE - Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, is seen with his comrade Waliur Rehman during his meeting with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border, Oct. 4, 2009.
    FILE - Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, is seen with his comrade Waliur Rehman during his meeting with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border, Oct. 4, 2009.
    VOA News
    Pakistan has summoned the U.S. ambassador to register a strong protest against the killing of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike.
     
    Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Saturday the drone strike has undercut government efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to the decade-long Taliban insurgency.
     
    Khan said the government also has taken several other retaliatory decisions but he would not say if that included the suspension of convoys ferrying supplies through Pakistan to U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan.
     
    Earlier, Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan vowed to block NATO supplies from passing through Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province along the Afghan border.
     
    The province, which is ruled by Imran Khan's political party, is a key route through which NATO supplies move in and out of Afghanistan.
     
    The interior minister said a government delegation was on its way to speak with Mehsud Friday when drone missiles struck his compound in North Waziristan.
     
    Pakistani and U.S. officials have confirmed Mehsud was killed in the attack.
     
    It is unclear if the Pakistani Taliban has chosen a new leader. Some reports say the group's second in command, Khan Said, also known as Sajna, was promoted on Saturday. Others quote Taliban spokesmen saying a new leader will be chosen within a few days.
     
    The 34-year-old Mehsud took over the Pakistani Taliban in 2009 when its previous head was killed, also by a drone strike.
     
    The U.S. had a $5 million bounty on Mehsud. He was accused of involvement in a deadly suicide attack on a CIA compound in Afghanistan in 2009 and a failed bombing of New York's Times Square in 2010.
     
    Mehsud's cousin, uncle and a bodyguard were also reportedly killed in the CIA attack on the compound, which sources confirmed to VOA was used by the Taliban leader.
     
    Mixed reactions
     
    Pakistani leaders say they strongly oppose U.S. drone strikes, but some critics believe the operations are part of a secret agreement under which Pakistan tacitly approves the U.S. strikes.
     
    Across the region there were mixed reactions to the news of Mehsud's death. While some welcomed the killing of the militant commander, seen as responsible for the death of thousands of civilians and security forces in Pakistan, others said Washington had destroyed the chance for peace talks.
     
    Analyst Raza Rumi, a senior fellow at the Jinnah Institute, dismissed that argument. He says that acting against Mehsud would have robbed political leaders of badly needed right-wing Islamist political support, so they had preferred to publicly pursue the idea of negotiations, even though there was little substance to the policy.
     
    Rumi also suggested the drone strike had Pakistan’s tacit support.
     
    "Obviously such precise intelligence and information must have come from local sources, and there are views in Pakistani media as well which are saying that you know there must be some level of cooperation going on in getting these targets eliminated," he said.
     
    Author and analyst Ahmed Rashid said U.S. missile strike follows a pattern by the U.S. authorities.
     
    "In a way the Americans have had this habit of stopping any kind of dialogue between either the Pakistani army or the Pakistani government, with the Pakistani Taliban by using drones to knock out some important figure. And that is exactly what they have done this time,” he said.
     
    Many fear that fighters belonging to the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella organization for a number of militant groups sharing an extremist Islamist ideology, will take revenge for Mehsud’s death.
     
    VOA correspondent Sharon Behn contributed to this report from Islamabad, and some information was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: anand mohan bain from: Bhilai C.G, India
    November 04, 2013 10:18 AM
    drones is not solution, think for better understanding with local people with government

    by: Sid from: Monterey,CA
    November 02, 2013 10:15 PM
    Pakistan is in such awful position where She can neither fight with Taliban for long time nor can negotiate with them freely. If there is fight there is blood and if there is talks there is blood again because of drones attacks like this.Why USA is not using drones on Afghan Taliban? Only because US wants to talk to them to save the skin of US army And if Pakistan wants to talk to Pakistani Taliban to give peace a chance, there efforts are sabotaged by drones attacks only to spread more terror and more instability in the region. Keeping such attacks will keep the armed industry of US never shut down and moreover there is no US army in Pakistan to face the reaction. That is called killing two birds with one stone.

    by: Ciaran Mulcahy. from: Dublin, Ireland.
    November 02, 2013 3:46 PM
    Until the 1960's, political assassinations at least 'appeared' to be an acceptable manner for most nations to relatively peacefully dispose of their enemies.

    Then 'circa' the middle of the 1960's, U.S. liberals in the U.S. Democratic Party became dogmatically, fundamentally opposed to cloak-and-dagger assassinations; and irrespective of which political party held U.S. Presidential Office, political assassinations became extremely difficult and nearly impossible, while clandestine support for opponents of left-wing regimes had to be awfully circuitous.

    Now we have John F. Kennedy type Democrat's back in the White House; we have an 'apparently' excessively-liberal U.S. Democrat President, who was regarded when he was first sworn-in as the 44th. U.S. President, that he was virtually immediately awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, even though other U.S. President's surely deserved to receive it; one of whom remained respected by the \People's Republic of China, for his intervention which the P.R.C. felt, prevented nuclear war between the USSR., and the PRC..

    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    November 02, 2013 11:13 AM
    I appreciate that and it is really a good step for three countries (Afghanistan, America and Pakistan). what I was expected it was done yesterday.
    Thanks from that/those person/s where ordered to shot him.

    by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
    November 02, 2013 10:11 AM
    If Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan are using the ruse of negotiations to perpetrate their ideology of terrorism, the message is clear. The US should not be trapped in the mistake of negotiation with terrorists. The fate of Sajna, the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban, is sealed similar to the fate of his two previous predecessors, whether Pakistan government negotiate with Taliban or not. There is no stoppage of drone attacks on terrorists unless Taliban quit terrorism.
    In Response

    by: Sid from: Monterey, CA
    November 02, 2013 5:42 PM
    Are you sure by more drones the terrorism would be eliminated? Drones are killing two terrorist and create ten more at the same time.

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