Pakistani exposed once again

The killing of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour by the Americans in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan has once again exposed Islamabad’s complicity. Pakistan has been claiming that it did not know the whereabouts of Mansour, notorious for his intransigence and for not joining the peace efforts in Afghanistan. The Pakistani establishment kept the truth under cover and did not let the US agencies know where Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour was.
It had said the same about al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden until the US traced him to Abbottabad, killed and buried him in the sea.
This time, the US Joint Special Operations Command rightly identified Mansour in a white sedan rattling across the arid expanse of Baluchistan and incinerated him.
He had just crossed the border under an assumed name from Iran where he had undergone some treatment, away from the prying eyes of the ISI.
He had managed to move in and out of Pakistan despite claims of Pakistani establishment of being tough on the Taliban and its friends.
Though US President Barack Obama described the killing as an “important milestone” in the war against terrorism, few describe it as of great significance. Mansour was not as charismatic as the Taliban founder Mullah Omar who died of tuberculosis in 2013 or Osama. It is believed that the Taliban would soon be able to replace him with another, who might even be more diabolic than him.
There is, therefore, no guarantee that the Af-Pak region will hereafter be more peaceful. Far from that, the fear of the Taliban resorting to vendetta cannot be ruled out. The killing, however, underscores a new low in US-Pakistan relations. There is little evidence to suggest that the Americans got Pakistani help in targeting Mansour. In fact, all evidence points to the fact that the operation was carried out without taking Islamabad into confidence.
The killing occurred not in the frontier region near Afghanistan, the one place where Pakistan has tolerated drone attacks, but well inside Pakistan. Seen in the backdrop of the US Congress move to block aid to Islamabad and the row over the F-16 fighter jets, it would be clear that the trust deficit between the so-called allies is widening.

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