NAYPYITAW: US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the leaders of both Pakistan and Afghanistan were notified of the air strike on Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour.
While addressing a news conference in the Myanmar capital, Kerry declined to elaborate on the timing of the notifications, but said he had talked to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on telephone.
US officials in Washington said on Saturday US missile-firing drones had attacked Mansour and probably killed him in a region along the Pak- Afghan border.
Kerry said Mullah Mansour posed a “continuing imminent threat” to US personnel in Afghanistan and to Afghans, and was a threat to peace.
“Yesterday, the United States conducted a precision air strike that targeted Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in a remote area of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border”.
“This action sends a clear message to the world that we will continue to stand with our Afghan partners as they work to build a more stable, united, secure and prosperous Afghanistan.”
“Peace is what we want. Mansour was a threat to that effort and to bringing an end to the violence and suffering people of Afghanistan have endured for so many years now. He was also directly opposed to the peace negotiation and to the reconciliation process,” Kerry said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it is “seeking clarification” about the drone strike.
“I have seen the reports. We are seeking clarification,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in a statement. He added that Pakistan wanted the Taliban to return to the negotiating table to end the long war in Afghanistan.
“Military action is not a solution,” he added.