Drone strike that killed Taliban leader vitiated ties: Pakistan tells US

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Pakistan on Friday told the US the drone strike that killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was a violation of the country’s sovereignty and vitiated bilateral ties, reflecting the recent downturn in relations between the two countries.
According to the Foreign Office, Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs, “conveyed a strong message” on the May 21 drone strike to a visiting high-level US delegation led by Richard Olson, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Peter Lavoy, director for South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.
The US delegation arrived in Islamabad on Friday to discuss the drone strike in Balochistan province that killed the Afghan Taliban chief and to discuss ways to improve bilateral ties.
The drone strike added to tensions between the two sides as it came soon after American lawmakers blocked a subsidy for the sale of eight F-16 jets worth nearly $700 million because of concerns that Pakistan isn’t doing enough to combat terrorism. The US is also set to withhold $300 million in military aid in Pakistan. Aziz and foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry held “candid discussions” on bilateral relations, the regional security situation and the Afghan peace process in the wake of the drone strike, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

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