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Foreign Office confirms, leaders of Pakistan knew about US Drone

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Kabul: ‘Pakistani leadership had been informed about the United States (US) drone strike in the country, against the Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mansour a day earlier’ confirmed The Foreign Office on Sunday.

Mansour was reported killed in a drone strike in Balochistan near the Afghan border.

According to the statement issued by the Foreign Office, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif were informed about the drone strike that likely killed Mansour.

The statement says: “According to the information gathered so far, a person named Wali Muhammad S/o Shah Muhammad carrying a Pakistani passport and an I.D. Card, resident of Qilla Abdullah, entered Pakistan from Taftan border on 21st May. His passport was bearing a valid Iranian visa. He was travelling on a vehicle hired from a transport company in Taftan. This vehicle was found destroyed at Kochaki along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The driver’s name was Muhammad Azam whose body has been identified and collected by his relatives. The identity of the second body is being verified on the basis of evidence found at the site of the incident and other relevant information.”

The statement adds that the drone attack was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and said Islamabad wanted to remind the world that the fifth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) held on May 18 had reiterated that a politically negotiated settlement was the only viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan.

The FO’s statement comes hours after it went viral that Pakistan was “seeking clarification” on the reported drone strike targeting Mansour.

Upon his arrival in British capital, London, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif too spoke to media and confirmed that he was informed about the drone strike but said that whether the man killed was Mullah Mansoor or not, is yet to be determined.

“John Kerry telephoned me yesterday night and told me about the drone strike,” said Nawaz.

The PM, however, added that such strikes are against the sovereignty of the state.

Earlier on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry also stated that he had notified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by telephone of a US drone strike that ‘likely killed’ Mullah Mansour.

The Afghan leadership was also apprised of the strike ordered by US President Barack Obama, Kerry said.

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