WASHINGTON: A top Pentagon official has said that Pakistan has an addiction of playing around with militant groups against India to achieve certain interests and this gets the country in all kinds of trouble.
According to a report published on The Times of India website, Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of Defence for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, told United States (US) lawmakers that the country had been discussing these issues with Pakistan, but there had been no success.
We've had these conversations with them forever about that. I don't see that changing. I don't see any set of talking points that's going to be delivered by some new diplomat that's going to change their mind.
Sheehan added that the US had “virtually given up” on changing the mindset of Pakistan regarding India.
It's the way they view the world. We have to understand the way they view the world and try to work through it. But it's not going to be easy, but I think at the end of the day we have been successful in the FATA in degrading al-Qaeda over the last 10 years despite all these problems. And I think that we're going to continue to work through it and hopefully again have another 10 years of success in degrading al Qaeda's strategic capability in the FATA and elsewhere.
India has blamed Pakistan-based militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group for training, equipping and financing the Mumbai attacks with support from “elements” in the Pakistani military.
US plays down Sheehan’s comments
Lt. Col James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesperson when contacted about Assistant Secretary Sheehan's remarks, said, "US remains focused on defeating al Qaeda. His point was that our relationship with Pakistan is complex and long-standing.”
Playing down the officials remarks, Lt. Col. Gregory reiterated that relations with Pakistan were important , “our relationship with Pakistan remains extremely important. As President Obama said Monday, "Obviously, the United States and Pakistan have a host of mutual interests. We’re both interested in combating terrorism, both internationally and in our respective countries."
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