Khar hints at militant link after drone fury
Pakistani FM Khar (L) and her Russian counterpart Lavrov are seen in this photo. Khar says it is not worthwhile to comment on Taliban links with Pakistan. AP photoThe second U.S. drone attack in two days in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region killed four people yesterday, including a senior militant commander with links to al-Qaeda, Pakistani intelligence officials have said. The latest attacks drew ire from Pakistan, with the Pakistani foreign minister saying that her country suffering today from the consequences of what other world powers decided to do in the region to get rid of the challenge that appeared in 1979, which was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
“In trying to deal with that, we have created certain groups which are today a challenge to everybody,” Hina Rabbani Khar told Russia Today. Badar Mansoor, the leader of a faction of the Pakistani Taliban with close ties to al-Qaeda, was one of the four killed in the strike in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border, Reuters reported. On Feb. 8, a U.S. drone aircraft also fired missiles at a compound in a village near Miranshah killing 10 suspected militants. Khar said that attacks by U.S. drones on Pakistani territory were illegal and could not be tolerated. “Drones are not only completely illegal and have no authorization to be used within international law, but even more importantly, they are counter-productive to the objective of getting this region rid of militancy, terrorism and extremism,” she said.
‘Every country has links’
“Because if one strike leads to getting you target number one or target number three today, you are creating five more targets or 10 more targets in the militancy that it breeds, in the fodder that it gives to the militants to attract more people to join their ranks,” foreign minister said.
Regarding the allegations that the Pakistani security forces are in close contact with the Taliban, Khar said these are “not even worth a comment.” “I think every intelligence agency in the world maintains ties with one group or another at some level,” she said. “These ties are now pretty much out in the open because people are openly talking about talking to these people. This is something which is not even worth a comment.”