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Pakistan denounces drone strike that killed Taliban chief

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Pakistan denounces drone strike that killed Taliban chief


Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, lashed out at the US on Saturday for killing Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike a day earlier.

He referred to the drone strike as an “attack on regional peace by America” and said it has jeopardised the scheduled peace talks with the Taliban.

The minister told gathered reporters: “The government of Pakistan does not see this drone attack as an attack on an individual, but as an attack on the peace process (…) the entire perspective of Pak-U.S. relations and cooperation is going to be reviewed.”

Many Pakistan Taliban commanders have said they want their second in command, Khan Said, to replace Meshud. Said, also known as Sajna, is believed to have masterminded an attack on a jail in northwest Pakistan that freed nearly 400 prisoners in 2012 and an major attack on a Pakistani naval base.

But some commanders were unhappy with the choice and wanted more talks, several militants said, indicating divisions within the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella group of factions allied with the Afghan Taliban.

Meshud was secretly buried on Saturday under cover of darkness. He took over the Pakistani Taliban in 2009 after a drone strike killed the previous leader.

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