General James Mattis says Pak-US relationship holds paramount importance

Washington, March 12: General James Mattis, the Central Command Head of US, said that the relationship is very important especially in the security efforts of America in Afghanistan.

He acknowledged that PAK-US ties hold paramount importance in an effort to restore peace in the region.

While addressing to the lawmakers in America during a testimony, he said, "It is a crucial relationship but it’s been a challenging one, and it’s been prone to recriminations on both sides. But the bottom line was that this was a critical relationship."

Victoria Nuland, a spokes person from US State Department also put emphasis on the importance of the relationship between Pakistan and US.

The Administration was looking for the approval of US congress for the allocation of a US$2 billion budget for Pakistan for security assistance in the new fiscal year of US.

Gen Mattis appreciated and praised the military efforts of Pakistan against Taliban and also tried to convince the lawmakers in this perspective.

He said, "And today, as you know, the Pakistan Army had thrown the Taliban back up into the mountains. They continue to take casualties in this fight. We did have a problematic at times relationship with Pakistan but that did not prevent us from working
and there was a lot of common ground that we use – that we operate off, together against this enemy."

However, he also said that there have been some differences occurred between the both countries resulting from some disapproving incidents.

However, he also said that there are many aspects in which both countries are still sharing the same cause.

He also added, "The prime minister made the public statement a little over a week ago, and I think that we were on track to start recovering some of the ground lost under some of these incidents that have occurred."

General Mattis, who is expected to visit Pakistan soon, also mentioned the sacrifices that Pakistan is making in the war against terror.

"The Pakistan military had taken a lot of casualties. They have probably lost more people in this war than NATO combined had lost. So my point would be that we continue to search for the common ground.”

Mattis also supported Pakistan by saying that no person in authority was aware of Usama Bin Ladin’s presence in Pakistan.

It seems that Pak-US relationship will soon be back on track if similar efforts continue.