Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz during a press briefing on Thursday confirmed the death of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike in Balochistan. He said that all indicators confirmed that the person killed in the drone strike last week Mansour who was travelling on fake identity document when targeted by a US drone near Noshki district in Balochistan.

Aziz said DNA tests on the deceased Wali Muhammad, suspected Taliban leader, will confirm the killing of Mansour. “The body will be handed over to his family after DNA tests.”

Aziz said that “Mullah Mansour was not opposed to peace talks,” and that “The death of Mullah Akhter Mansour in a drone strike on 21 May has added to the complexity of the Afghan conflict.”

Aziz also said the drone strike was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as well as breach of principles of the United Nations Charter governing the conduct of states, adding “We have conveyed our serious concern to the United States on this issue.”

Sartaj Aziz said that the drone strike has undermined the Afghan peace process, “On May 18, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China agreed that politically negotiated settlement was the most viable to continue to bring Taliban on the table,” however “This understanding has not been respected.”

Adding that the use of force will lead to destabilizing of Afghanistan with negative implications on the region, especially due to the presence of large number of terrorist groups in in the country, he said that “Pakistan believes that politically negotiated settlement remains the most viable option for bringing lasting peace to Afghanistan. The military approach has been tried for 15 years and could not achieve the objective.”

Aziz reiterated the need for Afghan government’s cooperation for security in the region, including “effective border management is vital for checking infiltration across the long and porous Pakistan-Afghanistan border.”

About the issue of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Sartaj Aziz said that the presence of these refugees has given rise to “security concerns as terrorists and militants use the camps as hideouts for nefarious activities. Effective measures should be taken on an urgent basis by the International Community for the repatriation of Afghan refugees.”

“Pakistan’s desire for lasting peace in Afghanistan is motivated by our conviction that peace and stability in Afghanistan is essential not only for the people of the country but also for the entire region,” Aziz said.

Aziz’s confirmation comes a day after the Afghan Taliban picked Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new chief to swiftly transfer power transition this confirming the death of Mansour earlier.

Haibatullahvwas one of Mansour’s deputies and is seen as a unifying figure in the militant movement however, it is unclear if he will follow his predecessors policy to shunpeace talks with the Afghan government.

The election also appointed Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani network, and Mullah Yaqoob, the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, as Maulvi Haibatullah’s deputies. Both were contenders for the leadership.

Haibatullah 50, was the first deputy of Mullah Mansour . Though not a founding member of the Taliban movement of Mullah Omar, he was among the several Taliban leaders close to Mullah Omar.

A Taliban leader has opined that Haibatullah seems to have no political ambitions and could unite the Taliban splinter groups, insiders revealed that Haibitullah emerged as the strongest candidate when a suggestion was floated to appoint a lesser known leader to reduce risks to his life after the US drone killed Mansour. He is not on the UN and US sanctions or terror lists.