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Pak-US Partnership Difficult to Revive (Mike Mullen)

Posted by on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 13:24
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The outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen in an interview told what prompted him to review his perspective on Pakistan, and how his “partnership approach” had “fallen short and would be difficult to revive”.

Mike Mullen
Mike Mullen

“I am losing people, and I am just not going to stand for that,” Mullen told.

“I have been Pakistan’s best friend. What does it say when I am at that point? What does it say about where we are?”

The report said that while Mullen earlier believed Pakistan was serious in its commitment to battle terrorism, the attack on the US embassy in Kabul and on a hotel was a turning point where 77 US soldiers were killed.

Mullen blamed Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for collaborating with the Haqqani network, the militant group the US blames for the Kabul attack. However, he believes that while the ISI may not control details of Haqqani’s operations, it provides the group “strategic support”.

“It is very clear they (Pakistan) have supported them,” Mullen said in the interview. “I don’t think the Haqqanis can be turned on and off like a light switch. But there are steps that could be taken to impact the Haqqanis over time.”

He said that Afghanistan and Pakistan are the region’s key countries and he has always learned a lot whenever he visited the two countries.

“I’ve been there, many, many times. Each time I go, I learn more, but one of the things I learn more is I have a lot more to learn…. I’ve worked as hard as I possibly could to stay engaged to see if there was a way to shape this for a better future in the region and obviously a better relationship. And I think in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, having a long-term strategic partnership or relationship, as I do in Iraq, is absolutely critical,” Mullen added.

Mullen, on September 22, bluntly said he believes the Haqqani network acts as a “veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency”. He emphasized that the Pakistani government, army and intelligence agency jeopardize the Pak-US partnership in the war on terror.

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