Rebuilding trust with Pak to take time: Mullen



Washington: The US has developed significant trust deficit with Pakistan over the period between 1990 and 2002 because of the sanctions placed on that country and achievement of results on the bilateral relationship front would take some time, a top military official has said.

"We are just starting to rebuild that trust, quite frankly. And it's going to take a while," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the Naval War College in Rhode Island.

Noting that Americans are pretty impatient, he said "it's going to take a patience to return that relationship to the strong one that used to be there with a country that is really critical and vital in that part of the world and has its own challenges, the extremist and terrorist challenges... It's a very serious problem."

Mullen said the US developed a significant trust deficit with Pakistan over the period 1990 to 2002 because of the sanctions that Washington had placed on it.

The focus of the Af-Pak strategy of the US is every bit as much on Pakistan as it is on Afghanistan, he said in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on 'Security Challenges in the Broader Middle East'.

"That gets lost sometimes in the focus on how many troops, but it's not about troops; that's certainly a critical part of it. It's about essentially a region that must be addressed...in a way that moves positively towards better security and not in the direction that it certainly is going in Afghanistan right now," he said.

PTI