Mullen Denies Back Channel in US-Pakistan Ties

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Context

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen on Thursday denied the US was involved in secret backchannel talks with Pakistan. Pakistani-American businessmen, Mansoor Ijaz has alleged the Pakistani government had offered to cut ties with military groups and to replace the Pakistani intelligence to garner US support after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Ijaz said he communicated Zardari’s memo on May 10, to Admiral Mullen. Capt John Kirby, Mullen’s spokesperson at the time, said that Mullen was not aware of any such correspondence. “I cannot say definitively that correspondence did not come from him — the admiral received many missives…he does not recall one from this individual. And in any case, he did not take any action with respect to our relationship with Pakistan based on any such correspondence.”

Ijaz runs Crescent Investment Management LLC in New York. He has acted as an interlocutor between US officials and Pakistani government for several years.