Home South Asia Pakistan Need to maintain strong military ties with Pakistan: US army chief

Need to maintain strong military ties with Pakistan: US army chief

“If confirmed as chairman, my objective will be to preserve the defence relationship between the United States and Pakistan even as we press Pakistan to take action on US requests,” Gen Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a hearing in Washington.

military

News Desk |

United States Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley has told the country’s lawmakers that US needs to maintain strong military ties with Pakistan. The statement of the top American general has come ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House later this month.

General Milley, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also warned at his nomination hearing that a premature withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would be a strategic mistake.

“If confirmed as chairman, my objective will be to preserve the defence relationship between the United States and Pakistan even as we press Pakistan to take action on US requests,” Gen Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a hearing in Washington.

In Afghanistan, he served as the Commanding General, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, US Forces.

“While we have suspended security assistance and paused major defence dialogues, we need to maintain strong military-to-military ties based on our shared interests,” he added.

He said that President Trump’s South Asia Strategy recognizes Pakistan as a key partner in achieving US interests in South Asia, including developing a political settlement in Afghanistan; defeating al-Qa’ida and ISIS-Khorasan; providing logistical access for US forces; enhancing regional stability.

“If confirmed as Chairman, my objective would be to preserve the defense relationship between the United States and Pakistan even as we press Pakistan to take action on US requests,” he added. Responding to another question, Milley said Pakistan has made positive contributions in support of Afghan reconciliation.

Read more: The Significance of Pak-US military ties

What did the Committee ask?

The Senate panel had sent him a set of written questions on sensitive issues, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. His responses underlined the need to maintain a defence relationship with Pakistan, the country’s importance as a key strategic partner, Islamabad’s role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and the need for Pakistan’s cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

“If confirmed, what changes, if any, would you recommend to US relations with Pakistan, particularly in terms of military-to-military relations and International Military Education and Training?” the committee had asked.

Gen Milley has served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Colombia and is likely to be confirmed without any opposition from either Republican or Democratic lawmakers.

Read more: Is the agreement to “reset Pak-US” ties enough for the revival of historic relations?

In Afghanistan, he served as the Commanding General, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, US Forces.

Facebook Comments