Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




THE STANS
Pakistan Taliban debate new leader as minister slams US
by Staff Writers
Miranshah, Pakistan (AFP) Nov 02, 2013


Pakistan summons US ambassador to protest over Mehsud drone strike
Islamabad (AFP) Nov 02, 2013 - Pakistan summoned the US ambassador on Saturday to protest over two recent drone attacks including the one that killed the leader of the Taliban, the foreign ministry said.

The government was determined to pursue talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, whose commander Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a US drone on Friday, the statement said.

US has "scuttled" Taliban talks with drone strike: Pakistan minister
Islamabad (AFP) Nov 02, 2013 - The Pakistani interior minister on Saturday accused the United States of "scuttling" efforts towards peace talks with the Taliban by killing the militants' leader in a drone strike.

Chaudhry Nisar said "every aspect" of Pakistan's cooperation with Washington would be reviewed following Friday's drone attack that killed Hakimullah Mehsud in the country's tribal northwest.

A team of religious clerics was hours away from setting off to meet the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with a view to starting peace talks when Mehsud was killed, Nisar told a news conference.

"Brick by brick in the last seven weeks we tried to evolve a process by which we could bring peace to Pakistan and what have you (the US) done?" he said.

"You have scuttled it on the eve, 18 hours before a formal delegation of respected ulema (religious scholars) was to fly to Miranshah and hand over this formal invitation."

Since its creation six years ago, the TTP has killed thousands of civilians, soldiers and police in its bloody insurgency against the Pakistani state.

It was also behind the attempt to kill schoolgirl education campaigner Malala Yousafzai in October last year.

Nisar said the identity of those killed in the drone strike was "irrelevant".

"The government of Pakistan does not see this drone attack as an attack on an individual but as an attack on the peace process," he said.

Pakistan routinely condemns drone strikes on its soil as a violation of sovereignty and counterproductive to efforts to end militancy, but Nisar's criticism of the US was unusually forthright.

The Pakistani Taliban's ruling council met Saturday to choose a new leader after a US drone killed Hakimullah Mehsud, as a senior government minister launched a bitter attack on Washington over the strike.

Mehsud, who was under a $5 million US government bounty, was buried late Friday after being killed when a drone targeted his car in a compound in North Waziristan tribal district.

The killing of its young, energetic leader represents a major setback for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a coalition of factions behind some of the most high-profile attacks to hit Pakistan in recent years.

But it also threatens the government's efforts to begin talks to end the TTP's bloody six-year insurgency that has left thousands of soldiers, police and civilians dead.

Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar slammed the US strike as a "drone attack on the peace process", saying a team of religious clerics was about to meet the TTP with a view to starting peace talks when Mehsud was killed.

"Brick by brick in the last seven weeks we tried to evolve a process by which we could bring peace to Pakistan and what have you (the US) done?" he said.

"You have scuttled it on the eve, 18 hours before a formal delegation of respected ulema (religious scholars) was to fly to Miranshah and hand over this formal invitation."

The foreign ministry said it had summoned US ambassador Richard Olson to protest over the drone strike that killed Mehsud and another that hit a day earlier.

The ministry statement also stressed that despite the drone strike the government was "determined to continue with efforts to engage the TTP".

Islamabad routinely condemns drone strikes as a violation of sovereignty, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged President Barack Obama to end them during White House talks last week, but summoning the ambassador is an unusual step.

Mehsud's death is the third major blow struck against the TTP by the US this year, following the killing of number two Waliur Rehman in a drone strike in May and the capture of another senior lieutenant in Afghanistan last month.

The TTP's supreme shura, or decision-making council, met Saturday to decide who should now lead the network, which emerged in the wake of a deadly 2007 military raid on the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad.

A Taliban commander told AFP the process was being held up because the meeting location keeps moving to avoid the attentions of the US drones that fly overhead almost continuously.

Candidates under consideration to take over from Mehsud include Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, the head of the central shura, and Khan Said, alias Sajna, who became number two after Rehman's death in May.

Senior Taliban commander Azam Tariq dismissed media reports that Said had been elected as "speculation", telling AFP a decision would be made "in the next few days".

He accused the government of running a "dual policy", supporting the US and at the same time saying it wants talks.

"Taliban will not talk with Pakistan until drone strikes are stopped," he said.

'Sabotage'

Opposition parties accused the US of using the drone strike to stymie the peace process before talks proper had even started.

Former cricketer Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party that rules in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said the strike had "sabotaged" peace talks and showed the US did not want peace in Pakistan.

PTI said it would call an emergency session of the provincial assembly to block NATO supply convoys transiting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on their way to Afghanistan.

Pakistan blocked all NATO supply routes through its territory for seven months in 2012 in protest at a botched US air raid that killed 24 soldiers.

For the US, Mehsud's death will represent a success for the CIA's drone programme at a time when it is under intense scrutiny over civilian casualties.

The killing has prompted fears of TTP reprisals, as happened after the death of founder Baitullah Mehsud in 2009.

Mehsud became TTP leader after a power struggle following Baitullah's death in a drone strike in August 2009

His death was widely reported in 2010 but he resurfaced in a video taunting the West and vowing more attacks on US targets.

The TTP has risen to become arguably the biggest security threat facing Pakistan. It was behind the 2008 bombing of the Islamabad Marriott hotel and the attempt to kill schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai last year.

The TTP also claimed the 2010 Times Square bomb plot after training Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad.

.


Related Links
News From Across The Stans






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





THE STANS
Tribesmen open fire on US drone after Taliban chief killed
Miranshah, Pakistan (AFP) Nov 02, 2013
Tribesmen opened fire on a US drone over Pakistan's troubled tribal belt Saturday where Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a drone strike a day earlier, residents and officials said. Mehsud, who had a $5 million US government bounty on him, died along with four others on Friday when a US drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in a compound in the village of Dandey Dar ... read more


THE STANS
Romania begins work on NATO missile shield base

Upgrades boost ballistic missile defense radar's performance to protect against missile raid

NATO, Russia make no progress on missile defence row

MEADS Tracks Tactical Ballistic Missile for First Time

THE STANS
Standard Missile-3 IIA completes Critical Design Review

Outside View: NATO needs to talk Turkey

Lockheed Martin Conducts Third Successful Flight Test of New GMLRS Warhead

Turkey open to new bids for anti-missile system

THE STANS
Pakistani family recounts drone terror in visit to US

AeroVironment, Eurocopter eye cooperation

AeroVironment and Eurocopter to Evaluate Potential Joint Ventures

AeroVironment Unveils Four-Ounce Pocket DDL

THE STANS
Latest AEHF Comms Payload Gets Boost From Customized Integrated Circuits

Northrop Grumman Cobham Intercoms Receives First Order For AN VIC-5 Enhanced Vehicular Comms

Raytheon produces new US Army satellite communications terminals ahead of schedule

Lockheed Martin To Continue In Theater Support for Real-Time Surveillance

THE STANS
Northrop Grumman Demonstrates Micro-Gyro Prototype for DARPA Program

US Army, Raytheon complete AI3 live-fire demonstration

Raytheon test fires enhanced Marine Corps anti-tank weapon system

Raytheon BBN Technologies extends Boomerang shooter detection technology to helicopters

THE STANS
Egypt looks to Russia for arms after U.S. cutoff

Israeli companies vie for $1B artillery upgrade contracts

North Africa, led by Algeria, seen as emerging arms market

BAE, hit by defense cuts, pins hopes on Mideast jet sales

THE STANS
Malaysia boosts its regional defense cooperation

China accuses Japan of 'dangerous provocation' at sea

Gibraltar row creates new headache for Brussels

France dissolves symbolic regiment based in Germany

THE STANS
Scientists untangle nanotubes to release their potential in the electronics industry

Nano-Cone Textures Generate Extremely "Robust" Water-Repellent Surfaces

Newly discovered mechanism propels micromotors

Densest array of carbon nanotubes grown to date




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement