Petraeus: U.S. needs to work on deteriorating relations with Pakistan
July 21, 2011 09:04 pm EDT
Politics, Diplomacy, International Relations
Just days after stepping down from his post as former commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, U.S. General David Petraeus warned against deteriorating relations between the United States and Pakistan in the post-Osama era.
Speaking from Paris, Petraeus explained that Pakistan was willing to eliminate Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, but has not yet gained success in it. "They'll be the first to say that there are limits to how much they can do," the general said.
Petraeus acknowledged Pakistani anti-militant operations, but added that they still need more effort to control Al-Qaeda network in North Waziristan and the Taliban in Baluchistan. Criticizing the WikiLeaks revelations, CIA agent Raymond Davis’ arrest in Afghanistan’s neighboring nation and killing of Al-Qaeda kingpin Osama Bin Laden by U.S. forces in Pakistan, the general said that all these developments have ruined the relations between the two countries.
Contrary to Washington’s previous stance, the man, who headed U.S.’ longest war, said that he believes Pakistan did not know about Bin Laden’s hideout in Abottabad although it was close to Pakistan’s most prestigious military establishment. "It is credible to me that they did not know. We received no intelligence whatsoever to indicate that there was any awareness that he was there," he stated.
While the U.S. sees Bin Laden raid as an extraordinary success, Pakistan takes it on their national sovereignty – a stage on which Washington needs to work out. "However difficult the relationship may be it's one we need to continue to work, it's one where we need to recognize what our Pakistani partners have done, they've sacrificed several thousand soldiers and police and their civilians have suffered substantial levels of violence," Petraeus concluded.
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