WASHINGTON: Addressing a press conference at the White House, US President Barack Obama, while highlighting that Pakistan has been an effective partner on various issues, said that Pakistan has “hedged bets on what Afghanistan would look like” after the withdrawal of US troops.
In response to a question on Pakistan and its alleged links with the Haqqani Network, President Obama said that Pakistan has had interactions with some “unsavoury characters” that the latter believes might end up regaining power in Afghanistan.
He added that there are connections of Pakistani intelligence and military with certain individuals that the United States finds “troubling”.
President Obama’s statement comes after weeks of acrimony and a new low point in US-Pakistan relations after Admiral Mike Mullen accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence of having ties with the Haqqani Network.
The US President reiterated that Pakistan needed to improve its relations with India, adding that, “Pakistan still thinks India is their mortal enemy.”
On the subject of cutting assistance to Pakistan, the US President said that while the US will constantly re-evaluate relationship with Pakistan, “We have a great desire to help Pakistani people to help them strengthen their society and government.”
He added that the US did not want to punish, for instance, flood victims of Pakistan for some decisions that their intelligence agency might have taken.