Washington: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Admiral Mike Mullen, has said that Pakistan sees India as a threat, and having nuclear weapons “is a huge part of their national security”.
“These are the most important weapons in the Pakistani arsenal. That is understood by the leadership and they make extraordinary efforts to protect and secure them. These are their crown jewels,” The Daily Times quoted Mullen, as saying.
“As much as we’re focused on this (terrorism) threat and the Pakistanis are more than they used to be, they see a threat in India and (having nuclear weapons) is their deterrent. They see this as a huge part of their national security,” he added.
Mullen further said that US is working hard to regain Pakistan’s trust following years of estrangement in the pre-9/11 period, but the effort is going to take time.
“I’ve seen significant commitments in the whole of the (US) government. It’s not going to happen overnight,” he added.
He also highlighted that strong relations with Pakistan are important to root out terrorism in the AfPak region.
“We agree that Afghanistan needs to be stable and peaceful. How we get there, and the long-term commitment is critical. That’s a huge part of the engagement strategy with Pakistan,“ Mullen said.
First Published: Thursday, July 01, 2010, 12:10