Pakistan has expressed concern over the killing of al-Qaeda chief Ayman-al-Zawahiri in a US drone strike in Afghanistan. Islamabad fears that similar action may be taken in its country as well. Experts say that the local government is engaged in citing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country with the help of international law. He fears that India may also make efforts like surgical or air strikes to act against terrorism.
Let us tell you that on Monday, US President Joe Biden revealed that al-Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike. Al-Zawahiri was one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. He was also the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was killed in a US drone strike in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday.
According to the report of The Express Tribune, during a weekly news briefing on Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar was questioned about the al-Qaeda chief. Asked if the help of Pakistani airspace and intelligence agencies was also taken to get Zawahiri out, he denied it. Asim Iftikhar said, “There is no evidence of this action that Pakistan’s airspace has been used.”
Apart from this, he was asked a second question whether Pakistan supports such anti-terrorist operations. The spokesperson stressed that Pakistan stands to combat terrorism in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions. He clarified Pakistan’s position, saying, “There are various international obligations under these resolutions. With regard to al-Qaeda, I think it is clear that it is a terrorist entity, which is also on the UN Security Council list.” The United Nations Security Council is bound to take action as determined by the States.
The spokesperson added, “As you are aware that Pakistan has taken firm action against terrorism in the past. It has supported the efforts of the international community in fighting terrorism. You are also aware that there are some notable ones against Al-Qaeda. The success was made possible only because of Pakistan’s role and contribution.”
The careful remarks by Pakistan show that the country is discouraging major powers to violate the sovereignty of other countries on the pretext of combating terrorism. Pakistan’s opposition to such an approach stems from its fear that other regional countries especially India may use the same excuse to violate territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Pakistan strongly opposed the US covert raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May 2011. Questions were being asked about the role played by Pakistan since the assassination of al-Zawahiri or whether the US used its airspace. Even US officials were not disclosing the exact airspace used to kill the al-Qaeda chief. It is said that just 48 hours before the strike, a senior US general spoke to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
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