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'Relationship with Pak Army at low ebb'

world Updated: Jul 14, 2011 21:36 IST

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Pentagon's relationship with the Pakistani Army is very challenging and is at low ebb, a top American General said on Thursday.

"We are probably at a very challenging time right now," Gen James E Cartwright, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told a breakfast meeting of Washington-based Defence Writers Group giving his sense of current relationship between the US and Pak armies.

"Our ability to have a good dialogue and good understanding is challenged right now. The relationship because of the cross border activities between Afghanistan and Pakistan has strained," he said in response to a question.

"The relationship about what Afghanistan would look like after we depart, what residual force we have, is a restrain because, they want to understand what it is going to look like," he said.

He said the activities associated with the raid at Abbottabad were difficult to handle.

"So we have several stresses on those relationships right now which we are trying to navigate them through those waters, but it is safe to say we are at a low right now and try work our way back," Cartwright said.

"I still believe in the conversations that he have that both parties want to have their way back. There is some ambiguity about our future and what is going to happen just inside Pakistan alone that is going to put stress on their military. So all of these combined together, we just would have to navigate our way forward," he said in response to a question.

The General felt the need of more interaction between the US and Pak Army.

"The more we spend our time together, the more we are going to get educated together," he said adding that that has a better chance of improving ties between the two countries.

"We still have a large gap," Cartwright said referring to the adverse impact on US-Pak relationship due to the restrictive Pressler Amendment which now is no longer in place.