The U.S. ambassador to Islamabad was summoned to Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Saturday, a day after Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a U.S. drone strike.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry did not explain why the envoy was summoned. A U.S. State Department official confirmed the meeting to CNN but would not disclose details about it.
The State Department official would not discuss U.S. operations in Pakistan but stressed the Pakistan Taliban's 2009 attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan and claims of responsibility for a failed attempt to bomb Times Square in New York.
The official was not authorized to speak publicly and is not being named by CNN.
Pakistan: Peace talks will go ahead
Pakistani Information Minister Pervez Rasheed insisted that Mehsud's death would not delay proposed peace talks between the government and the Pakistan Taliban, amid concern that anger about the strike might derail the process.
Rasheed condemned the use of drones in Pakistan. "Drones are used for killing, but they will not let the peace process be killed with it," the minister told reporters.
Mehsud, who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head for his alleged involvement in the 2009 attack , was killed in a drone strike in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, senior U.S. and Pakistani officials told CNN.
He was buried overnight, though the body was burned beyond recognition, Taliban sources said. The organization was scheduled to meet Saturday to pick a new leader, the sources said.
The Afghan Taliban condemned the drone strike as "cowardly" and "barbaric" in a statement posted on its website Saturday, the SITE intelligence group said. The statement urged the Pakistani government and people to take measures to stop the attacks.
A new leader?
No official announcement has yet been made on who will be the new chief for the Pakistan Taliban. But a number of names have emerged, as different factions and individuals jockey for position.
Saleem Mehsud, a journalist who is close to the Mehsuds and familiar with the Pakistan Taliban, told CNN on Saturday that the central shura, or council, of the Pakistan Taliban has approved Sheheryar Mehsud as its new chief.
Sheheryar Mehsud is from the Jangara area of South Waziristan and belongs to the Shabikheil sub-tribe within the larger Mehsud tribe, he said. That's the same sub-tribe that Baitullah Mehsud, who led the Pakistan Taliban before Hakimullah Mehsud, belonged to.
Sheheryar Mehsud, who's 33 years old, has been involved in fighting in Kashmir and Afghanistan, he said.
Pakistan braces for reprisals
There are fears the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud may spark a surge in violence.
This is in part because the attack in Afghanistan in 2009 -- in which seven U.S. citizens died -- was launched in response to the strike that killed Baitullah Mehsud four months earlier.
The Haqqani Network, designated by the United States as a terrorist organization, vowed to avenge Meshud's death. Spokesman Ahmed Yousaf said the group will launch attacks within a few days.
The network is blamed for more than 1,000 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan.