ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government said Saturday it would not allow the death of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike to derail proposed peace talks.

Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid told reporters in Islamabad that the government wanted to press ahead with its plan to negotiate with Mehsud’s Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

“We can say that this time drone struck the peace talks but we will not let the peace talks die,” Rasheed said.

He said the process of peace should not stop despite the TTP chief’s death.

Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan agency Friday evening, throwing the talks process into doubt a day after the government said it was taking steps to initiate dialogue.

Rashid said Pakistan was committed to peace through talks despite losing 40,000-50,000 civilians, soldiers, and police to militant violence.

“So I am sure that the other party will show the same spirit which we had shown,” he said.

Opposition politician Imran Khan condemned the drone strike as an attempt to “sabotage” peace efforts, and called for the federal government to block Nato supplies going through the country.

However, when asked by reporters, Rashid said blocking Nato supplies will not end drone strikes.

“We blocked Nato supplies in the past after (the incident at) Salala. Drone strikes did not stop then, and will not stop now,” he said.

When asked if the strike signified a failure of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent visit to the US, Rashid rejected the notion. “They are two separate, unrelated things. They should not be looked at in this way.”

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Comments are closed.

Comments (15)

November 2, 2013 6:17 pm

how can Nawaz stop supplies when his all ill gotten wealth is in england

November 2, 2013 6:18 pm

If the Taliban want to stop drone attacks in Waziristan, why don't they move to unpopulated areas of Afghanistan The TTP are the ones who should be blamed for civilian deaths as they are the ones who are using these people as human shields They have a nerve to complain about a foreign power being inhumane but feel its OK to murder their own countrymen in retaliation. Wow what Logic! this policy must be really hurting the US.

November 2, 2013 7:26 pm

“We blocked Nato supplies in the past after (the incident at) Salala. Drone strikes did not stop then, and will not stop now,” he said.

May I remind the honourable minister that in this selective memory he has forgotten that It was also decided by the Parliament at that time that if drone strikes don't stop, Pakistani armed forces will shoot them down. PM Nawaz Sharif has disgraced himself by visiting USA without any rhyme and reason. USA is continuously insulting Pakistani Government and Parliament by attacking Pakistani soil. Have we no shame left?

A Shah
November 2, 2013 7:33 pm

First China and now the US have stabbed us in the back!

November 2, 2013 9:00 pm

hmm, I see a similarity here.

1) You have drone attacks happening on one side and no one knows if Pakistan govt is involved there though Pak Govt denies it and initiates peace talks with the Taliban.

2) You have terrorist incursions and actions on the Indian border and no one knows if Pakistan govt is supporting them though Pak Govt denies it and again initiates peace talks with India.

I am not a supporter of Taliban but this strategy of Pakistan seems to be scary. Not quite sure if this sets up a good precedence.

November 2, 2013 9:19 pm

Information minister should be thankful to the US for taking care of a terrorist who was danger to peace. What peace is he talking about? Peace with a group who killed thousands of Pakistanis even in the mosques?? Minister needs to come to his senses.

November 2, 2013 10:09 pm

Actually this is good for pakistan. His death was inevitable. There should be little pay back for taliban and it is expected. Countless number of Soldiers and civilians were put to death violently by Taliban. Pakistan lost a great leader BB because of their terror.

Pakistan I would think got a good position to start talks because the TTP is at a receiving end now and in disarray.

November 2, 2013 10:43 pm

Liars you were not given votes by people. You rigged elections by paying the likes of Geo, Najam Sethi and Arsalan Iftikhar. You think you can buy everything with money. Allah will do your accountability

November 2, 2013 10:39 pm

You can fool some people sometimes but you cannot fool all the people all the time . You very well know whats going on mate///////

November 2, 2013 11:14 pm

If one goes by pakistan's track record, it is quite possible that pakistan may have chosen HM as the target this time to eliminate hardline faction for the peace talks and to send a message to others in the taliban. As usual they will cry foul for a few days, shake hands with US for killing the target and later shove it under the carpet quitely until the next target is picked. Thus it is playing US against the common pakistanis. It is a classic case of 'running with hare and hunting with the hound'.

Congrats USA - at last you have avenged the CIA base attackers.

November 2, 2013 11:25 pm

We will kill ourselves but not peace talk. Pervez rashid the saviour.

November 2, 2013 11:50 pm

Very sad if we want to talk to killers! They woe to not stop short of their agenda, America is not their problem. They want to kill all who does not do and live as per their way. Our politicians are senseless and directionless. Do the way American did to all those who have picked up weapons against Pakistani Citizens. If we end up pardon them after peace, is that acceptable to those whose kids and families were butchered by them? Of course not at all

El Cid
November 3, 2013 12:44 am

"Pakistan will not let US drone strike 'kill' peace talks: Rashid"

Well, it just did, again! And many times before...

November 3, 2013 2:01 am

But you will let the drones kill us! What a hypocrite.

November 3, 2013 3:21 am

Hence proved that PMLN has a hidden agenda of continuing drone strikes while publicly claiming support for talks.

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