Pakistan To Review US Ties After Drone Attack Kills Taliban Leader

Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan is to review its relations with the US following the drone strike that killed Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud at a time plan on peace talks were advanced, according to local media reports.

Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif will meet General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of army staff, on Monday and attend a briefing at the Foreign Office, the Dawn newspaper reported on its website.

There are also reports that parliament will debate blocking NATO supplies in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Citing unnamed sources, the Dawn also reported that Sharif was expected to make a policy statement on the situation arising out of the killing last Friday.

The US, who relations with Pakistan have been strained over its use of drone strikes that often kill civilians in the volatile North Waziristan, had put a $5m bounty on Mehsud’s head, blamed for hotel bombings, assaults on political rallies, beheadings of policemen and suicide attacks on soldiers.

Before his death, Mehsud headed the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is blamed for killing thousands in a six-year battle against the state.

Pakistani authorities were taking the first steps towards initiating talks with the Taliban when Mehsud was killed, prompting Chaudhry Nisar, interior minister, to accuse the US of “scuttling” peace efforts.

Hamid Karzai, the president of neighbouring Afghanistan, has added his voice to criticism of the US, saying the killing of Mehsud came at “an unsuitable time”.