WASHINGTON: A senior United States official Friday reiterated an earlier statement made by Pentagon and the State Department that certain issues, including the opening of GLOC and action against the Haqqani network, remained causes of frustration and “friction points” between the two countries.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official disclosed that Pakistan had been invited to the Chicago conference on the pretext that the GLOC would be restored. He added that the US was mislead by different statements from the Pakistani leadership and Pakistan’s ambassador that the Nato supply line would be reopened, after which the US administration issued an urgent request to invite President Asif Ali Zardari. He also informed reporters that the US administration was working on a new “Pakistan policy,” which included strategic drone strikes, more dependence on Central Asian states, and keeping payments to Pakistan conditional.
The official criticised the ambassador’s statement issued a day before and termed it point scoring, adding that these statements were oblivious and not conducive to restoring the relationship and the trust between the two countries. He said senior administration officials including the defence secretary and secretary of state had on numerous occasion spoken about their desire to work with Pakistan to squeeze the Haqqani network.
“We share a common interest with Pakistan when it comes to going after al-Qaeda, and then seeing a stable Pakistan emerge in the region,” the State Department official said, adding, “It’s an important and complicated relationship, but needs improvements despite the challenges that we face.”