Washington: The United States engages with the entire Pakistan government, including both civilian and military leadership, in its wide-ranging relationship with the country, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
When asked during a press briefing: “Who’s in charge of Pakistan, and - in that larger sense… who is it that’s running Pakistan? Is it the civilian government? Is it the military? Is it the intelligence agency?”, Hillary replied: “I think as with any question about leadership or who is in charge, we deal with the entire government.”
“We, as the President said, he talks to President Zardari. I deal with the civilian leadership. We also talk to the military leadership. Joint Chiefs Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen has developed a very positive, cooperative relationship with General Kayani. CIA chief Leon Panetta deals regularly with ISI director general Pasha. We are in constant communication,” she added in her response.
She pointed out there are certain decisions that are made by different leaders within their government, adding that “it would be a mistake, and it’s a mistake that the United States has made continuously over the last 63 years, to move away from the democratically elected civilian leadership of Pakistan.”
Hillary said that the US’ goal was to “help support that leadership, help them understand how to deliver and show that democracy produces results for people. And we intend to do that.”
“So our answer is we deal with the leaders of Pakistan, and we do it in a very whole of government approach. And the strategic dialogue has given us the mechanism to be able to do that,” she added.