The United States has “clearly distanced itself” from Pakistan, former US military chief Mike Mullen has said as the White House and State Department publicly dismissed allegations of its involvement in Islamabad’s domestic politics, a reported Dawn News.
“It’s hard, hard to say,” Admiral Mullen said when asked to describe Washington’s relationship with Pakistan.
“I think we have clearly moved away from Pakistan over the past decade and Pakistan has increasingly fallen under China’s umbrella,” he told VOA Urdu Service in Washington.
Admiral Mullen, who served as chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2007 to September 2011, was also named in the so-called Memogate controversy, which revolved around a memorandum, ostensibly soliciting support of the United States to prevent a dreaded military takeover in Pakistan that never happened.
He noted that China was not only Islamabad’s neighbour, but “had also supported Pakistan”.
This proximity, he said, “suits China’s global ambition”, as Beijing would rather have a neighbor “closer to them and not to the United States”.
For these reasons, US-Pakistani relations “are going to be strained for some time”, he added.
Asked if he thought Pakistan helped the Taliban take control of Kabul in August last year, Admiral Mullen replied: “They didn’t do much for the Taliban. ‘stop for sure’.
He recalled that as the head of the US military, he said in a congressional hearing that Pakistani intelligence agencies were active in Afghanistan “and I still believe the connectivity is there. It goes both ways. senses”.
The former US military leader reiterated an often-heard complaint in Washington that Pakistan was “playing both sides (the US and the Taliban)” in Afghanistan, Dawn reported.
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