Islamabad Confirms Mansour Visited Iran With Pakistani Passport

mansour-23-may-16

Pakistan’s External Affairs Ministry has confirmed that a passport found at the site of the U.S drone strike that killed the Taliban’s leader Mullah Mansour shows the name of a Pakistani citizen Wali Mohammad and carries a valid Iranian visa.

In response to the allegations, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed the reports about the journey of the person under the mentioned name as baseless.

It is said that the photos of Mohammad’s passport, seen by media, shows a slight resemblance to some of the old photos of Mansour and that the holder of the passport had just returned from Iran on the day he was hit by the U.S drone.

“The Iranian authorities have rejected the entry of a person with such a description from Iran to Pakistani border. But Iran is still committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Hussain Jaberi Ansarian, spokesman to Iran’s Foreign Ministry said.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has slammed the U.S drone attack on its soil and said it was a violation of its national sovereignty.

“We will protest over the attack that happened after several years. The attack is a clear violation of Pakistan’s national sovereignty,” Sharif said.

Pakistan has said that so far it has identified one of the dead bodies at the site as a taxi driver; however, the second body is yet to be identified.

Meanwhile, a number of analysts said the Taliban in recent months tried to extend relationships with Iran and Russia to fight Daesh and that there is a possibility that Mansour traveled to Iran to escape ISI and talk with Iranian officials.

“Iran is afraid of Daesh presence in Afghanistan, because Daesh is an enemy to Iranian clerics; therefore, Iran wants to eliminate Daesh with the help of the Taliban. Previously, Taliban had strong affiliation to Saudi Arabia, but now there is a rift between Iran and Saudi Arabia and Iran wants to expand its influence on the group [Taliban],” political analyst Shafiq Hamdam said.

“Taliban maintains close relations with Iran. There is a possibility that Mansour traveled to Iran for treatment, because Taliban does not trust Pakistanis,” political commentator Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen said.

It is said that Mansour became the target after he refused to endorse peace talks with the government in Kabul.

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