In the aftermath of successful operation conducted by American commandos to kill Osama bin Laden, which took the Pakistani Army by surprise, Islamabad is currently reassigning its relationship with Washington, a top Pentagon official has said.
“Clearly what has happened, they are going through an internal reassessment period of time and part of that is reassess their relationship with the United States,” Admiral Mike Mullen Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a luncheon with the Pentagon Press Association on Thursday.
The reduction in trainer troops and few other steps being taken by Pakistan are a direct result of this, he said.
“The U.S. stance is that we need to sustain this relationship. They have certainly dramatically reduced the size of the training foot print form where it was. And this is a part of their reassessment both internally and externally,” Mr. Mullen said in response to a question.
“So we have fewer trainers from that perspective that makes some sense for me, I do not agree of the choice they make,” said the top Pentagon official, who in the last two and half years have visited Pakistan nearly two dozen times and says has very good equations with the Pak Army Chief, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.
“They (Pakistan) have, despite the criticism about (not taking action against) Haqqani (network), justifiably so, they have lost thousands of citizens wounded, they have killed or captured more terrorists in any country. So it is not like they are sitting on the sidelines here,” he argued.
“They have been engaged in many ways. The events speak to it. We are going through a very difficult time, of reassessment right now and I am not exactly sure how it comes out and what the specifics would be but I hope that as we work our way through this we are able to sustain this relationship,” Mr. Mullen said in response to a question.