WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that the United States would not feel comfortable in a long-term strategic relationship with Pakistan if it did not protect US interests as well.
President Obama was pushed aside by the domestic agenda and asked by a journalist if he agreed with Admiral Mullen’s accusation that Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI had used the Haqqani network as a virtual arm.
“And what, if any consequences, up to and including a cut-off of aid, would you be willing to consider?” the journalist asked.
“There’s no doubt that we’re not going to feel comfortable with a long-term strategic relationship with Pakistan if we don’t think that they’re mindful of our interests as well,” said the president.
“We will constantly evaluate our relationship with Pakistan based on (what it does) to protect Americans and our interests,” he added. “And there is no doubt that there’re some connections that the Pakistani military and intelligence services have with certain individuals that we find troubling. And I’ve said that publicly and I’ve said it privately to Pakistani officials as well.”
The remarks alarmed Pakistani diplomats in Washington who were recently warned by their lobbyists that the US anger with Pakistan’s alleged links to the Haqqanis was not over yet.