West must keep Pakistan ties, says NATO chief

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, March 7, 2011.

From Peter Spiegel and James Lamont, the Financial Times:  The west must continue to co-operate closely with Pakistan despite US claims that Pakistan’s intelligence agency is assisting Islamist insurgents fighting allied troops in Afghanistan, Nato’s secretary-general has said.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen declined to say whether he agreed with claims by Admiral Mike Mullen, the US military’s recently-retired top officer, that Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence directorate supported attacks on US and Nato facilities by Pakistan-based Haqqani militants.

But he told the Financial Times that regardless of possible links, “I don’t think there are many alternatives” to working with the Pakistani military and government leadership to convince them to clamp down on the Haqqani operation.

“Whatever might be the links between the Haqqani network and authorities in Pakistan, the bottom line remains the same,” Mr Rasmussen said in an interview.

“Pakistan must deal with it and make sure terrorists don’t have safe havens in Pakistan, and we need a close partnership and a positive partnership with Pakistan.”    (photo: NATO)

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