On Monday, President Barack Obama confirmed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone strike carried out in Pakistan on Saturday. Islamabad said Washington’s unauthorized attack violated the country’s sovereignty.
"Islamabad will also ramp up security in Balochistan, possibly providing cover to the remaining elements of the Taliban still present in the province, attempting to shield them from further US drone strikes," Stratfor stated in an analysis.
In a sign that the trust deficit has widened between the two countries, the analysis noted, US Secretary of State John Kerry did not inform Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif about the strike on Mansour until after it occurred, "demonstrating that Washington does not have faith in Islamabad's reliability in coordinating such high-level strikes."
The attack on Mansour comes at a precarious moment in the US-Pakistani bilateral relationship, the analysis added, highlighted by the US House of Representatives recently passing legislation to cut off $450 million in military aid to Pakistan until it prosecutes a more vigorous strategy against militants within its borders.
US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters on Monday that the United States did not see any indications that Mansour was willing to join the reconciliation process in Afghanistan before he was killed by a US drone strike.