US move may disrupt peace talks: Nisar

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Govt not in a position to confirm death of Taliban leader Mullah Mansour; NSC meeting to be held on PM’s return from abroad

Zeeshan Javaid

Islamabad—While strongly condemning the US drone attack in Pakistan’s territory and terming it in contradiction to the United Nation’s charter, the Federal Minister of Interior on Tuesday said that the recent move by US may sabotage peace talks with Afghan Taliban factions.
The Federal Minister for Interior affairs, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who was addressing a press conference said that a strategy to cater to the issue shall be made after Prime Minister’s return and that a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) shall also be held.
The Interior Minister said that he could not confirm that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been killed in a US drone strike as the body recovered from near the Afghan border was charred beyond recognition, adding “DNA samples had been collected from the remains and would be tested against a relative who came forward to claim the body,” he added.
“The government of Pakistan cannot announce this without a scientific and legal basis,” he said.
He strongly condemned the US drone strike in Pakistan terming it contradiction of the United Nations charter and the country s sovereignty, adding “Many individuals who are a threat to Pakistan are present in the West. Peace in Afghanistan, according to the Pakistani government, is possible through dialogue,” Nisar said.
“Indeed Mansour was a hurdle in negotiations whereas various phases of dialogue between Taliban and the Afghan government, however, the news regarding his death surfaced days before the negotiations will have serious implications upon relations between the United States and Pakistan,” he maintained.
Nisar said that a drone strike was carried out in Balochistan a couple of days back (on Sunday), further stating that the strike was aimed towards a car which was completely destroyed because of the strike whereas the men inside died on the spot.
He said that Pakistani officials were informed 7-hours later after the attack in Noshki through official corridors by the United States authorities that Taliban leader Mullah Mansour has been killed in Pakistan through a US drone strike.
He said that the corpse of the driver inside the car was identified, adding that it has yet not been proved whether the other dead body is of Mullah Mansour or not. He further said that Pakistani government cannot make any clarifications in this regards unless a scientific investigation takes place.
Interior Minister said that announcement related to the verification of the identity shall be made later after results of the scientific tests are received, adding “Confirmation cannot be made that the passport obtained from the area belongs to the very person who was travelling with it. The passport belongs to a person named Wali Mohammad, adding that the identification card of this very person was made computerised in 2002 whereas he applied for a passport for the first time in 2005 and renewed in 2011,” he maintained.
Nisar said that intelligence agencies gave him information about the identity of the card holder and his Afghan identity on the basis of which it was cancelled along with 24,000 others, while his name was not forwarded by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), adding that there may be some flaws in the system but improvement has been made in recent years.
He gave statistics related to the passports that were cancelled on the basis of security purposes ever since he assumed office as the country s Interior Minister. Nisar said that such a procedure shall be introduced through which filtration of the procedure to obtain an identification card is made possible. He said that a number of corrupt officers belonging to various institutions of the government have been sacked upon their involvement in corruption.
Commenting on the loopholes that have let illegal migrants enter into the Pakistani territory, the security’s top manager said, “For the last 40 years now, more than 0.3 million migrants have reached Pakistan. About 30,000 people cross the border on daily basis and there is no monitoring system for that. It’s like a needle out of a haystack to keep a check on every single person.”
However, he said, we are trying to improve the system.”

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