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'Pak addicted to use of militancy against India'

American official says Asian ally’s mindset vis-a-vis its neighbour is difficult to change.

world Updated: Mar 30, 2012 02:17 IST

Pakistan has an “addiction” of “playing around” with militant groups against India, a top Pentagon official has said.

“They have an addiction of playing around with militia groups to achieve certain interests particularly vis-a-vis India. That gets them in all kinds of trouble,” Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of defence for special operations/low-intensity conflict told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing.

Responding to questions, Sheehan said the US has been having discussions with Pakistan in this regard but without much success.

“We have had these conversations with them forever. I don’t see that changing. I don’t see any set of talking points that’s going to be delivered by some new diplomat that’s going to change their mind,” Sheehan said. He added that the US has virtually “given up” on its effort to change the mindset of Pakistan with regards to India.

“It’s the way they view the world. We have to understand the way they view the world and try to work through it. But it’s not going to be easy, but I think at the end of the day, we have been successful in the FATA in degrading al-Qaeda over the last 10 years despite all these problems.

“And I think that we’re going to continue to work through it and hopefully again have another 10 years of success in degrading al-Qaeda’s strategic capability in the FATA and elsewhere,” Sheehan said.

US has said it was “frustrating” to deal with Pakistan on “many levels” while asserting that America will continue to “pound” al-Qaeda to prevent any possible attack on the country.

“Quite frankly at the end of the day, the (US) President is going to do what he has to do unilaterally. He will always protect that prerogative to protect the security of the American people and our interests,” Sheehan said.

First Published: Mar 29, 2012 09:35 IST