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Pak. finally confirms Afghan Taliban chief’s death in US drone attack

Sartaj-Aziz

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday finally confirmed that Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone strike in Balochistan, days after the US and Afghanistan confirmed the same.

Mansour was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan’s Balochistan province last Saturday.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, during a press briefing said all indicators confirm that the person killed in the drone strike was Mansour, who was travelling on a fake identity when targeted in a drone strike near Noshki district in Balochistan, reports the Express Tribune.

He, however, said that DNA reports of Wali Muhammad, the man suspected to be the Taliban leader, would further confirm the killing of Mansour.

“His body will be handed over to his family after DNA tests,” Aziz said.

He reiterated, “Mullah Mansour was not opposed to peace talks,”

“The death of Mullah Akhter Mansour in a drone strike on 21 May has added to the complexity of the Afghan conflict,” Aziz said.

He pressed that the drone strike was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as well as breach of principles of the United Nations Charter governing the conduct of states.

The top diplomat also conveyed Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China agreed on May 18 that politically negotiated settlement was the most viable to continue to bring Taliban on the table.

He added that use of force will further destabilise Afghanistan, which will have negative implications on the region.

“Pakistan believes that politically negotiated settlement remains the most viable option for bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan. The military approach has been tried for 15 years and could not achieve the objective,” he added.

Pakistan’s remarks comes a day after the Afghan Taliban picked a top cleric, Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada, as their new chief. (ANI)

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