Washington: Pakistan needs to review the relationship it has had with terrorist groups, the Pentagon has said while emphasising the importance of continuing dialogue with Islamabad on this issue.
"The (Defence) Secretary has indicated that this is an important and complicated relationship and when it comes to dealing with partner, an ally like Pakistan. The important thing is to continue the dialogue and through dialogue you can sort out any differences that we have and get to resolution," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
During an off camera interaction with Pentagon reporters, Little yesterday said countless Pakistanis have lost their lives to terrorists inside Pakistan.
"The Secretary (of Defence, Leon Panetta) Tuesday at the National Defence University made the point that some of the historical relationships between elements of the government of Pakistan and some groups such as the Haqqanis and LeT are ones that we hope they would change. I think that was the point
that made clearly," he said.
Panetta, he said, was speaking very clearly to the point that is quite well known.
"That is we have been in regular discussion over the past several years with Pakistan on the need to cooperate closely to root out terrorism. After all, terrorists inside Pakistan pose threat to both to our nation and to Pakistanis," he observed.
"We are not in a position to characterize high or low level, but he did make the point that it is important that Pakistan look at those historical relationships," Little said when asked what level of contacts are there between the elements in Pakistan and these terrorist outfits.
"Both countries eyes are open on these issues and they are regularly discussed with the Pakistanis and the Secretary made his views clear," he said.
Panetta, he said, has been consistent both as the Defence Secretary and also in his prior role that al Qaeda remains a threat. When you lose bin Laden as top leaders of Qaeda that has dealt a serious blow to the organisation. But no one is saying that they are out for good, he said.
"It is important to keep the pressure up," Little said.