BALOCHISTAN – The recent drone strikes in Pakistan near the Pak-Afghan border aimed at the Afghan Taliban are said to be a challenge to Pakistan sovereignty. Permission was not given by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as US drone strikes attacked Pakistani soil in a war against terror. The attack is being termed as a violation.

Initially, the government in Kabul had accused the Taliban leader in Pakistan of sheltering rebels.The attack had aimed to kill Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, which has increased the risk of retaliation by the Afghan Taliban – putting Pakistan in a difficult situation.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in London mid-May in the midst of a medical check-up and told reporters that the air strike was unauthorised. Additionally, Pakistani news platform Dawn News reported on the recent meeting between General Raheel Sharif and the US ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale. General Sharif asserted the idea that the attack has been detrimental to Pak-US ties, damaging peace efforts. The attacks have been condemned further due to the fact that Pakistan had already highlighted restricted zones to the US. Since 2010, Pakistan had stressed on certain regions as “no – go areas” this included Baluchistan – thus undermining Pakistan sovereignty.

Not only have the strikes impacted the sovereignty, federal interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has accused Washington of sabotaging peace with the Afghan Taliban. In a press conference held in Islamabad, Nisar highlighted many vital factors of the drone strike including the fact that Mullah Mansoor had been travelling to many countries, yet was only attacked whilst in Pakistan. He also spoke of the affect of the strike as halting the Maree dialogue therefore peace talks will now be extremely difficult to handle. Pakistan has played its part in the war against terror – in reference to Pak-Afghan relations, operation Zarb – e -Azb had been the attempt of peace talks with the Taliban since 2014; yet since the attack on the Taliban leader is sure to give rise to tension.

– Unzela Anna Khan, Correspondent (Asia: South)