Sharif to review ties with US at special cabinet meeting

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 03, 2013 17:05 hrs

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will hold a special cabinet meeting tomorrow to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties with the US in the wake of the CIA drone strike that killed warlord Hakimullah Mehsud.

"Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will give a briefing on internal security tomorrow at the cabinet meeting," a highly-placed source in the Prime Minister's Office told PTI.

Nisar, who was the person spearheading the peace talks with the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had yesterday said the US had deliberately targeted Mehsud in the drone strike to sabotage Pakistan's peace negotiations with the militants.

He said an urgent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) had been called to review bilateral cooperation and ties with the US.

"This is not just the killing of one person, it's the death of all peace efforts," a visibly upset Nisar said.

Pakistan summoned the US ambassador to protest over Friday's drone strike that killed Mehsud.

The drone strike came a day before a Pakistani delegation had been due to fly to North Waziristan to meet the militant leader.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has sought for immediate blockade of NATO supply trucks and this is one issue which would be discussed during the meeting tomorrow, a source said.

Giving a possible insight into government's stand, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said that stopping NATO trucks would not stop drones.

However, sources say the government will have to take some strong stand given the popular public opinion against drone strikes.

Sharif had pledged to talk with the Taliban to try to end its campaign of violence, which has left thousands dead in bombings and shootings across the country.

Mehsud and five other militants were killed in the drone strike in Danday Darpakhel area of North Waziristan.

Since its creation six years ago, the TTP has killed thousands of civilians, soldiers and police in its bloody insurgency against the Pakistani state.

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