On Tuesday, the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar took to the pulpit to give a strongly worded response against the drone strike that killed Mullah Mansour – taking great care to play for the (Pakistani) gallery in defiant tones. However, the nationalism heavy presser conflates several issues, making the final narrative a jumbled one - either through design or ignorance.

In a rare display of diligence and circumspection, Chaudry Nisar asserted that Pakistan cannot confirm Mullah Mansour’s death without proper scientific or forensic evidence. A noble stance surely; one that would have made more sense if the Taliban themselves hadn’t confirmed the death and elected a new leader. The Minister may be trying save the government more embarrassment but at this point it is futile; another Taliban commander was eliminated on Pakistani soil, and not by Pakistani forces.

Secondly, the assertions that the drone strike had derailed the peace process are also exaggerated. The peace process has been dead for a while. Official talks had broken down with no timetable for resumption while the Taliban had been carrying out a string of deadly bombings across Afghanistan. The government may have had influence over Mullah Mansour at some point, but increasingly he seemed like his own man – and a violent one at that. Nisar may have a point though – killing their leader is the surest way of ending any dialogue.

Mullah Mansour may have outlived his usefulness to the peace process, but that does not excuse US exceptionalism. Chaudhry Nisar was correct in pointing out that the US cannot hold itself to a different standard than the one it forces on the world – if it reserves the right to unilaterally strike targets in other countries, so do they. It must clarify its stance on sovereignty. However, the US government sidestepped the issue of sovereignty by refusing to confirm whether the strike took place in Pakistan or Afghanistan, while asserting that it will continue to operate such drones – a duplicitous stance if there ever was one.

This contradiction exists within the US administration, the Coalition Support Fund is being used to push a carrot and stick policy, while the administration is preparing new bills for reimbursement of operational costs to Pakistan in the tune of $800 million.

The upshot of this diplomatic disaster is that the new Taliban commander – reportedly more militant than the previous one – consolidates forces while the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan are left bickering over who is doing enough and who needs to do more.