Mullen, Kayani bringing US and Pak closer

March 2nd, 2009 - 2:37 pm ICT by ANI  


Lahore, Mar 2 (ANI): US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen and Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani have forged the most important relationship between both countries through nine meetings, according to Newsweek.

Initially, the two officials differed over strategies on fighting the Taliban, the article said: Mullen suggested ways Pakistan could help in the war on terror; Kayani disputed even the use of the term. Mullen has pressed Kayani to worry less about India and more about al Qaeda; Kayani counters with pleas for promised military gear.

But the magazine cites two important meetings as the turning point in the ties between both top military officials, the Daily Times reports.

When Kayani arranged for Mullen to visit his troops on the front lines, Mullen saw the socks and sandals they were wearing in midwinter, and the old Lee-Enfield rifles in their hands, it says.

And in a secret meeting aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln last August, in which Mullen was accompanied by Centcom chief General David Petraeus and Kayani by ISI chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Mullen had hoped to demonstrate the planning and precision involved, perhaps to dispel the notion that civilian casualties were a result of carelessness.

In an interview with Newsweek several months later, Mullen had said Kayani was making promises and keeping them. The general might want to return the favour, the magazine said.

Last week in Washington, Pakistan requested more equipment, including Scout UAVs for reconnaissance and devices to intercept communications. And theres still the matter of those airstrikes, which Kayani says are turning the Pakistani people against relations with the United States. (ANI)

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