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Pakistani Army needs time, space for introspection: Mike Mullen

world Updated: Jun 19, 2011 22:17 IST

Pakistan Army and its chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani should be given some time and space for introspection in the aftermath of the US raid in Abbottabad that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and the developments since then, a top Pentagon official has said.

"What he's (Kayani) going through right now, what the Pakistani military is going through right now, obviously, is considerable introspection based on recent events. That makes a lot of sense to me. They've got some questions," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters.

"I know General Kayani well enough to know what he cares about the most is not himself. What he cares about the most is his institution. Leaders throughout the world and certainly in this case we share that with him," he said, responding to media reports that there might be a coup against Kayani inside his army.

"I think we need to give it a little time and a little space, as they, go through this introspection. I think there will be opportunities for the relationship to improve."

The official said certainly, the challenges are not going to go away and "I believe we have to be very careful now in terms of the relationship. Were it to break, or were we to walk away, I think it's a matter of time before the region is that much more dangerous, and there would be a huge pull for us to have to return to protect our national interests."

From his perspective nothing has changed in terms of the criticality of the relationship.

"Certainly I have a very strong personal relationship with General Kayani and I consider him a friend, but it's not just the personal relationship, because I have a very strong professional relationship, nor is mine the only relationship in our military-to-military relationship between the two countries," he added.