United States would go ahead and hit high value targets inside Pakistan if Washington felt threatened from this part of the world, a top US military official has said.
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, who interacts regularly with the Pakistani Army and its political leadership, told the PBS news channel that the US would go ahead and hit the high value targets inside Pakistan, based on actionable intelligence.
He said the US would not hesitate in striking inside Pakistani territories if the next attack to the US came from this part of the world.
Mullen said he has made this view of the Obama administration clear to the Pakistani leadership.
“I think he (Pakistani Army Chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani) fully understands that, and it’s a conversation I’ve had many times, not just with the military leadership, but also the political leadership, that any President of the United States would respond to an attack on US citizens, another attack coming out of the FATA to strike the United States, and any President would have no choice,” Mullen said in an interview to the channel.
“They understand that very clearly, and they don’t disagree with that. It makes sense to them. That’s certainly a solemn duty that we have here,” he underlined.
Mullen acknowledged that this could be a sensitive issue for Pakistan and its sovereignty, but argued that the US would have no other option left in that case.
“Sure, it’s -- absolutely it’s sensitive. I think, I mean, you’re at the heart of dealing with the most difficult part of the problems we have there, where we have this safe haven in a sovereign country that is threatening, plotting against Americans and other Western countries, and it must be eliminated,” he said.
The top military commander underlined that the US was working hard to ensure that plans targetting the US was not "consummated".
“Ideally, that would come through the pressure that the Pakistanis bring to eliminate that threat. But what I worry about is if that -- if that kind of attack is consummated, has that kind of effect, that the response that would certainly be generated from that -- and what we’re working hard on is try to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Mullen said.