Pakistan protests to US, says ties to be reviewed
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad summoned US Ambassador Richard Olson to the Foreign Office on Saturday evening and lodged a strong protest with him over a drone strike that killed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud along with his close aides.
While renewing its resolve not to allow these unilateral strikes, Pakistan said it was approaching the UN Security Councils permanent members (P-5) to appraise them of the ‘setback’ to the dialogue process with the insurgents.
"The latest drone strike will have a negative impact on the government’s initiative to undertake dialogue with the TTP. The government, however, is determined to continue with efforts to bring an end to the ongoing violence..." the foreign ministry said.
In a statement, the Foreign Office spokesman said talks with the militant groups would be made part of mainstream politics within the parameters of Pakistan's constitution. He reiterated drone strikes constituted a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and international humanitarian laws.
He added the attacks were also counterproductive to efforts at bringing peace and stability to Pakistan and the region. The spokesman said Pakistan condemned drone strikes whenever they took place, including the two recent attacks on Thursday and Friday.
Also on Saturday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said the US ambassador had been handed a demarche over "ambushing peace talks" with the Taliban. He said bilateral ties with the US would be reviewed and the matter at international forums including the United Nations.
An urgent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) has been called to review bilateral cooperation and ties with the US. The meeting may take place soon after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's return from London.
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