WASHINGTON: The US respects Pakistan’s sovereignty but will carry out strikes to eliminate terrorists who are targeting its forces, the Obama administration said on Monday as Islamabad expressed concern over the drone strike by American forces on its territory to kill Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour.
“We certainly do respect Pakistan’s territorial integrity. But as we’ve said before, we will carry out strikes to remove terrorist who are activity pursuing, and planning and directing attacks against US forces,” state department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference. Toner was responding to questions on Pakistan hitting out at the US for launching the drone strike on its soil to kill Mansour, describing it as a “violation of its sovereignty”.
He said the death of Mansour does not mean defeat of the Taliban but it does send a clear message.