US still has complicated ties with Pak: Donilon

In recent months, relations between Pakistan and the US teetered from one crisis to the next.

Washington: The United States continues to have a complicated relationship with Pakistan, a top Obama administration official has said, as he voiced concern over terrorist safe haven in that country.

"It continues to be a complicated relationship between the United States and Pakistan," US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told the popular `Charlie Rose Show` yesterday.

In recent months, relations between Pakistan and the US - key allies in the decade-old war on terror - teetered from one crisis to the next, including strains caused by the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil and deadly NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

"It needs to be in the first instance that they have been partners with the United States in taking the most actions against terrorists than any country in the world. And that`s important," Donilon said.

"On the negative side, there`s a safe haven issue which we remained a very difficult issue," he said. At the same time, the top Obama aide praised Pakistan for its role in war against terror.

"They have lost thousands of soldiers in their efforts against these insurgencies. That`s the first one. The second point is we`re running a war in Afghanistan on their border. And there have been, you know, obviously, a lot of complications that arise from that," Donilon said.

He said the US understands the kind of reaction from Pakistan in the aftermath of the November 26 NATO cross-border fire in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.

"Our judgment is that given our interest in the region, given our interest in continuing our counter-terrorism efforts in the region and other efforts that we need to work through these tough issues and continue to work together on the things that we can do together," he said.

Donilon also said that terror network al Qaeda has been degraded substantially in the last one year. "I think al Qaeda has been degraded very substantially, and our assessment is that they are in the weakest position they`ve been in clearly since 2001 and that we are on the road to degrading them even further through a very persistent global effort," he said.

Donilon said the US has carried out a targeted effort against al Qaeda and it has yielded results.


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