US, Pakistan 'need each other': Gates

Published: June 30, 2011
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US Defense Secretary says it is critical for the US to maintain ties with Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

US Defense Secretary says it is critical for the US to maintain ties with Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: Outgoing US Defense Secretary Robert M Gates said on Thursday that it was critical for the United States to maintain ties with Pakistan despite growing anti-Americanism in the Pakistani military and the worst relationship between the two countries in years.

Gates was speaking during a news conference along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StafF Admiral Mike Mullen.

“The long history of the US-Pakistani relationship has had its ebbs and flows,” said Gates. “We need each other, and we need each other more than just in the context of Afghanistan.”

Gates declined to say that the was “winning” the war, despite US claims of recent military gains. “I have learned a few things in four and a half years, and one of them is to try to stay away from loaded words like ‘winning’ and ‘losing,’ ” he said. “Our military operations are being successful in denying the Taliban control of populated areas, degrading their capabilities and improving the capabilities of the Afghan national security forces.”

Both Gates and Mullen deflected a question on whether they were concerned that General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani might be in danger of losing his position.

Pakistan-US ties reached their lowest point in recent history after American Seals conducted a unilateral raid in Abbottabad to kill al Qaeda’s chief Osama Bin Laden.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • AnisAqeel
    Jun 30, 2011 - 3:50PM

    “We need each other, and we need each other more than just in the context of Afghanistan.”

    Yes Sir, we need each other more than any other times but we need more of honest relations and one side is stubborn, fishy opportunist and waiting to stab. Both need to have honest relations.Recommend

  • sam
    Jun 30, 2011 - 4:30PM

    what pakistan needs is to become a closed economy.. become self sufficient……..smoke out all terrorists ……. work with the afghan govt to send back all refugees… and finally stand on its own tw feet.. so no Pakistan does not need to US……… relying on the US is a matter of convenience since we the govt wont do right by its people…Recommend

  • CitizenoftheWorld
    Jun 30, 2011 - 5:19PM

    … also … smoke out all the foreign agents sitting inside the government functions, as foreign-controlled sleeper units … ?Recommend

  • Ba Ha
    Jun 30, 2011 - 5:20PM

    Closed or open economy does not matter. We should have nothing to with the great Satan. Recommend

  • Safir afkhan.
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:26PM

    NO more use of word WINNING AND LOSING then what is a third word …………Recommend

  • faraz
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:56PM

    Ya close the economy, and all the petrol and CNG pumps, and shift to donkey cartsRecommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Jul 1, 2011 - 10:21AM

    We dont want to befriends with Snakes! Recommend

  • Ajay
    Jul 1, 2011 - 1:08PM

    @sam:
    This is a wish list. Where, if there ever have been, implementation level detailed plans? Recommend

  • Ajay
    Jul 1, 2011 - 1:17PM

    @AnisAqeel:
    All the same Artibs apply to Pakistan too. What Gates meant was soon Pakistan will have no choice but to roll because of financial and social pressures. What US needs from Pakistan and can’t do without is a total transformation of it’s society thinking that is causing it to degrade economically and socially as well becoming a terrorist hub. When Pak leaders say all countries are affected by terrorism, they are deliberately missing the point.Recommend

  • David
    Jul 1, 2011 - 9:47PM

    Pakistan does not need US, nor it wants to play any part in its dirty games and killings around the world. US should better take care of its actions and get out of regions it is present as invaders, a step necessary for world peace! US is a bankrupt nation and its people are dying of hunger, if it really wants to do something good in the world, it should take care of its own citizens, who are living on begged money.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Jul 1, 2011 - 11:57PM

    All the people who complain about the drone strikes need to stop pretending that they are anything BUT terrorist sympathizers.

    Data shows only 6% of those killed in drone strikes are civilians and those are usually family members of terrorists that they use as a human shield because the terrorists don’t even value the lives of their own family. They are cowards.

    The drones are the best thing happening in Pakistan right now because they do the work their own military is unwilling to do. The cowardly military refuses to do anything for the people of Pakistan.

    Stop all the chest beating and grow up. The drones kill terrorists. Terrorists kill innocent Pakistanis. Killing the terrorists saves Pakistani lives. I don’t know what else could be clearer. Thank you USA.Recommend

  • Arjun
    Jul 2, 2011 - 1:51AM

    Sameer, you’re clearly too smart to be Pakistani. What you say makes such clear sense that there must be something fishy about it ;).Recommend

  • Vinayak
    Jul 2, 2011 - 8:49AM

    Master needs a slave to whip.Recommend

  • Jul 2, 2011 - 9:24AM

    @David:
    What? Starving… We have places that feed the homeless for free. The only way an American is going to die from starvation at the moment is intentional suicide or an eating disorder. There are unemployment concerns in the US. Though many unemployed get assistance in terms of food. Most complaints in regard to that are just “barely” making ends meet or a concern in regard to if it drags on for too much longer.

    We have flaws, but at least use the real things rather than what sounds good. This is coming from someone who isn’t anywhere in the “privileged” rankings of society or whatever you would like to call it.

    You also forget the government wouldn’t be “invaders” if every last citizen rejected it. Speak for yourself. I’d happily go hungry if it meant shutting the mouths of people like you and forcefully reminding your little militant factions of their rightful place in the world. That place being on the run with only fear and regret to keep them company.Recommend

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