‘Afghan Taliban Chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour has been killed by a US drone strike in Balochistan’.

Question: What is the most striking information in the aforementioned sentence?

Answer: ‘US drone’ – and in that order.

A distant third is ‘Balochistan’. For, if Akhtar Mansour – or indeed the Afghan Taliban – did/does exist, he surely can’t have been struck down in Balochistan.

One would at least respect a nation’s history and traditions of sovereignty violations, before doing the same through UAVs in that very region.

Hence, that leaves the existence – or veracity – of everything barring ‘US’, ‘drone’ and ‘Balochistan’, up for conjecture.

But now that Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada has been named as the new Afghan Taliban chief, let’s take the liberty of making the preposterous assumption that his predecessor is no more.

Having said that, the Afghan Taliban not waiting for our authorities’ confirmation before choosing their successor is conclusive proof that Pakistan does not exercise any control over them.

First, however, let’s dissect what we do know to be true, i.e. ‘…US drone strike in Balochistan’.

Every US vehicle – armed or otherwise and manned or otherwise – breaches Pakistan’s sovereignty; that’s a given. What makes the latest infringement all the more appalling is the fact that as of September 13, 2015, we proudly have our own drones, spearheaded by Burraq. Our drones have killed countless unidentified terrorists of dangerous unnamed terror groups, as confirmed by ISPR.

So, not only do we not need the US to do any mopping up for us, economically we can’t afford violations of sovereignty by a foreign power that won’t pay for our F16s.

We’ve clarified as much through statements via the Prime Minister, Interior Minister and yesterday through the Army Chief, who took three days to replicate a Chomskyan condemnation of US’ unmanned humanitarian imperialism.

General Raheel Sharif, the founder and manager of Operation Zarb-e-Azb knows that the scorecard now reads US Drones 3-0 Zarb-e-Azb.

This is just counting the emirs, Baitullah Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud and now Akhtar Mansour. If we started including the second tier Taliban leadership with the likes of Shahidullah Shahid and Wali-ur-Rehman, the matchup might become a landslide.

Of the executions that has given US drones a three-strike lead, two were supreme leaders of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, a group that did everyone an unacknowledged favour by naming itself to underscore the country that it would be targeting.

It was between the killings of Baitullah (August 2009) and Hakimullah (November 2013) that noise against US drones breaching sovereignty and killing innocent civilians reached its optimum decibels, echoing alongside clarifications over the Taliban’s estranged brotherhood.

After that we began working on our own drone technology, and the TTP started killing our schoolchildren, so (Pakistani) drones have been embraced and (Pakistani) Taliban have been shunned.

We now even allow stories titled ‘drone blowback in Pakistan is a myth’ into the mainstream media highlighting the locals’ long-held support for drone strikes. Because one never knows when one might get questioned over our own drones; even though they never kill innocent Pakistani citizens like Wali Muhammad, falsely accused of leading the Taliban.

So despite the fact that their Pakistani counterparts have been revisited, American drones are still abominable and Afghan Taliban still kosher. And both of these are said to have come together in Balochistan over the weekend.

The biggest problem with the drone strike taking place in Balochistan is the implication that it did not take place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (including FATA). There are (at least) three Pakistani provinces that are not KP, and it is one of these three wherein all relevant strings are being pulled – eastwards, westwards, outwards, inwards…

Mearsheimerian neorealism dictates that if Zarb-e-Azb hasn’t broken its aforementioned duck in nearly two years, it’s unreasonable to expect Zarb-e-Ahan to do the same in nearly two months – or ever. But the problem with Balochistan isn’t only about what it is not, it has also got to do with what it is: the only Pakistani province that borders Iran.

As we try to solve this murder mystery in Balochistan, anti-Muslim Narendra Modi signed 12 agreements with Muslim brother Iran. This is a month after anti-Muslim Modi signed defence and trade agreements with Muslim brother Saudi Arabia. Anti-Muslim Modi also convinced Muslim brother Afghanistan to sign a transit agreement in Tehran, bypassing the only state created in the name of Islam and Muslims.

While neutral analysis should mean acknowledging that India has indeed scored in Tehran, we too have scored by tracing links of Akhtar Mansour – who becomes dead or alive or Wali Muhammad, in accordance with the situation – to Iran. For, this is the same country that RAW agent Kulbhusan Yadav came from.

And so while India might have the consolation of signing transit deals, port agreements and improved commerce with Iran and Afghanistan, we have the bigger prize of now being able to accuse both neighbourly Muslims states of allowing RAW funded terrorists into our borders.

Just because our Pan-Islamist wooing hasn’t worked in convincing Kabul to stay away from New Delhi, does not mean it won’t work in Tehran either. We don’t play the Shia or Sunni cards when it comes to warning Muslim brothers against India.

So following the past week’s events the list of things we have won includes: humanisation of unmanned armed vehicles, reiteration of a sovereign state’s self-respect, better deal for our F-16s, immunity over Afghan Taliban and the ability to accuse Iran of allowing RAW infiltration into Pakistan.

The list of things we have lost in the same period includes: Wali Muhammad’s ID card.

Even so, team Zarb-e-Azb needs to gear up and (at least pretend to) target the leadership of groups that are orchestrating terror attacks all over South Asia. And let’s hope that the US is using the football (soccer) or (ice) hockey scorecard. Because in baseball ‘three strikes’ means something completely different.