WASHINGTON: US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey says the United States’ relationship with Pakistan is the most complex, yet an important one.
In remarks made at an event on Tuesday at the National Press Club, General Dempsey said that they need a positive relationship with Pakistan, because of Pakistan, and not merely because it was a neighbour to Afghanistan. “It (Pakistan) sits in an extraordinarily important geostrategic location, you know, in a very challenging part of the world. It’s got – you know, it’s got a – it’s got huge internal challenges that could have caused it to fail, and no one believes that a failed Pakistani state is – would be a good thing for the world, let alone the region.”
“And so we do have to have a relationship with Pakistan.”
He added that he works on the Pakistan-US relationship a great deal, and had, on Monday, met Pakistani Ambassador Sherry Rehman as well. The JCS Chairman said that ISAF Commander General Allen, CENTCOM Commander General Mattis and he are engaged in trying to restore and reset the relationship with Pakistan, and to make it more positive.
He cited that since 9/11 there have been nearly 44,000 deaths in Pakistan, and 14000 of them were military-related to a war against internal insurgencies and terrorists.
Do more on Haqqani
Dempsey did not mince words that Pakistan needed to do more on Haqqani network. “They also haven’t been doing enough against the Haqqanis, and I was very clear about that. And so this relationship is worth the effort. But we’re in a pretty low point right now.”
In response to a question on the NATO supply routes, General Dempsey said that while the closure has not had any operational impact on the military operations in Afghjanistan, it had affected the foreign military sales equipment. He said that there was cargo in Karachi, which they might have to “retrograde and bring in in another fashion.”
He added that it was costing the US a lot of money and that it affected their NATO partners as well. General Dempey said that he had said earlier that the US should find some way to recoup the extra costs incurred.