(Reaction of Regional Partners)
After Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed by a U.S. drone in the tribal area of Pakistan's province of Waziristan, the Arabic press wrote:
طالبان باكستان تدفن قائدها وتختار خليفته
Pakistan's Taliban buried their leader and elected his successor.
الزعيم الجديد لطالبان باكستان خان سيب سجنا (يمين) كان نائبا لمحسود الذي قتل الجمعة
The new Taliban leader in Pakistan Khan Saib [alias] Sajna
(on the right) was a deputy to Mehsud who died on Friday.
باكستان أعلنت حالة تأهب قصوى بعد مقتل محسود تحسباً لهجمات انتقامية، وأمرت بتعزيز الأمن حول المطارات ومنشآت رئيسية أخرى
Pakistan announced a case of maximum preparedness [as] attacks of vengeance are to be expected after the assassination of Mehsud. Order was given to reinforce security forces at airports and other main installations.
[Source: Al-Jazeera الجزيرة on November 2, 2013]
حركة طالبان باكستان تسعى إلى امتصاص أثر الصدمة وإظهار قدرتها على النهوض من جديد بعد الضربة الموجعة التي تلقتها بمقتل زعيمها
The Taliban movement in Pakistan makes an effort to overcome the state of shock and shows its capacity to stand up, once again, after the painful blow that met them with the assassination of their leader.
[Source: Al-Arab العرب, Arabic daily published in London, on November 3, 2013]
According to CNN, Mehsud was leader of the Pakistani Taliban since 2009. Despite earlier reports on his death in a drone strike, he had survived until now. His organization's main goal in past years was to maintain an insurgency against Pakistani authorities.
In 2010, U.S. authorities offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture when Mehsud's organization claimed responsibility for a 2009 suicide bombing at the U.S. forces forward operating base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan. The Chapman attack killed seven U.S. citizens, including five CIA officers and a member of Jordanian intelligence.
Furthermore, the Mehsud group claimed responsibility for the failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in New York's Times Square in 2010.
Reaction of Regional Partners:
Both governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan condemned the U.S. for their drone attack that might undermine cooperation between both countries aimed at achieving a successful peace process.
Afghan president Karzai criticized the timing of the drone attack while current peace talks are planned between both governments and regional Taliban groups in order to end a decade-long conflict. Karzai made his comments when he met with a delegation of U.S. congressmen in Kabul on Sunday evening (November 3). [Source: CNN]
The Pakistani government condemned the use of drone strikes on its territory and summoned the U.S. ambassador on Saturday (November 2). Information minister Pervez Rasheed said the government would not allow the death of Taliban leader Mehsud to derail proposed peace talks. "We can say that this time drone struck the peace talks but we will not let the peace talks die," Rasheed said. Opposition parties in Islamabad accused the U.S. of using the drone strike to suffocate the peace process before it had even started. [Source: Al-Jazeera / CNN]
I remember the face of Hakimullah Mehsud from an interview he once granted to some TV station. I think it was the English service of Al-Jazeera but cannot remember the date of broadcast. In that interview, Mehsud was asked whether or not he would consider a change of U.S. politics towards the Taliban after the Obama administration took over from U.S. president Bush jr., and I still remember Mehsud's answer: "In our country we have a saying which is: The black dog is the white dog's brother." So much about mistrust against the U.S. and their allies.