Pak condemns strike, Taliban ask people to prepare for ‘war’

The killing of Hakimullah Mehsud could severely impact the Pakistan government's plans to hold peace talks with the Taliban. A militant commander had told PTI earlier on Friday that they were in touch with the government, and both sides were forming teams to lead negotiations.

In a statement, the Pakistani Foreign Office said: "Such strikes... set dangerous precedents in inter-state relations. These drone strikes have a negative impact on the mutual desire of both countries to forge a cordial and cooperative relationship and to ensure peace and stability in the region... There is an across the board consensus in Pakistan that these drone strikes must end."

A pamphlet distributed by the Taliban in North Waziristan asked people to vacate the area in a week. The pamphlet said the situation in the region might worsen in the coming days.

Mehsud is believed to have been behind a failed car bombing in New York's Times Square in 2010 as well as brazen attacks inside Pakistan. He took over as chief of the Pakistani Taliban in August 2009 after his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a drone strike.

The US National Counterterrorism Center describes Mehsud as "the self-proclaimed emir of the Pakistani Taliban". He was on the FBI's most-wanted terrorist list, with a $ 5 million reward for information leading to his capture, and has been near the top of the CIA Counterterrorism Center's most wanted list for his role in the December 2009 suicide bombing that killed seven Americans — CIA officers and their security detail — at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan.

The suicide bomber, a Jordanian double agent, was ushered into the military base to brief CIA officers on al-Qaeda, and detonated his explosive vest once he had reached the inside of the base.

Mehsud was indicted on charges of "conspiracy to murder US citizens abroad and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against US citizens abroad," the NCTC site says.

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