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Ties with Pak complicated but strong: US

Last Updated: Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 12:07

Washington: The Obama administration on Wednesday acknowledged that US relations with Islamabad were "complicated", but said ties remained strong after news that CIA informants had been arrested in Pakistan.

"The cooperation that we do get is vital and essential to our war against terrorists and terrorism," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

"Our relationship with Pakistan is extremely important. It is also complicated."

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Pakistan`s top spy agency had arrested five Pakistani informants who assisted the CIA ahead of a raid on Osama bin Laden`s compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad.

State Department spokesman Marc Toner would not comment the report that the five Pakistani informants, including an army major, had worked with the CIA ahead of May 2 assault that killed bin Laden.

"We have a strong relationship with our Pakistani counterparts, we work through issues when they arise," Toner said.

He said that since the raid there has been "an intensity of engagement that illustrates our commitment to working through these issues."
"We`ve been upfront about challenges in the relationship but we`ve been also consistent in saying Pakistan and US need each other," he said.

"We need to work through these challenges because it`s in both of our long term and short term interest to do so."

The Pakistani military denied that an army major had been detained as a result of the "Abbottabad incident."

The revelation that bin Laden had been living in Pakistan, despite a decade-long global manhunt, has strained ties between the two nations, with Islamabad furious that it was not informed ahead of the raid.
President Barack Obama, who ordered the raid against the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, has made it clear that he would do the same again if another high-value target is discovered in Pakistan.

And he has pressured Islamabad to probe how bin Laden managed to live for years under the noses of its military, saying he must have had some kind of support network.


First Published: Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 12:07

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