Pakistan denounces US strike believed to have killed Afghan Taliban chief | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan denounces US strike believed to have killed Afghan Taliban chief

world Updated: May 22, 2016 21:20 IST
Mullah Akhtar Mansour

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, Taliban's new leader is seen in this undated handout photograph. (Reuters Photo via Taliban handout)

Pakistan Sunday denounced the US drone strike believed to have killed the Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

In a statement issued to the media, Pakistan’s foreign office said the drone strike was a violation of its sovereignty, adding that information about the drone strike was shared with the prime minister and the army chief after the strike.

“It may be recalled that the fifth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) held on 18th May had reiterated that a politically negotiated settlement was the only viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan and called upon the Taliban to give up violence and join peace talks,” the statement said.

Earlier on Sunday, the United States had announced that it targeted Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansur in a drone strike on Saturday, and were investigating his fate.

The National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, later confirmed Mansur’s death.

Read: Taliban’s second-in-command Haqqani may be a deadlier foe than Mansour

Mansur was formally appointed head of the Taliban in July last year, following the revelation that Omar had been dead for two years. The group saw a resurgence under the firebrand supremo with striking military victories, helping to cement his authority by burnishing his credentials as a commander.

The new head also integrated the Haqqani Network, which has remained an independent arm of the Taliban, into the outfit — according its leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, a larger role. News reports and analysts say Haqqani now calls the shots in planning Taliban military operations, which include targeting the local government and US-led coalition forces, in Afghanistan.