US Defense Secretary has called for the building of “cooperative and trusting” ties with Pakistan. Leon Panetta in an interview with CNN, said terrorism was as big a threat to Islamabad as it was to the Western power and urged both countries to work together to eliminate terrorism. Terming relations between the two countries as complicated, he said, “What we’ve got to do is build a trusting relationship where we both understand that our major effort has to be to end terrorism, period.” The former CIA chief also reiterated the need for Islamabad to take action to ensure safe havens do not exist. Washington has repeatedly accused Pakistan of having links with the Haqqani network.
Panetta’s tone was in stark contrast to Mike Mullen’s harsh accusations who asserted the Haqqani’s served as a “veritable arm” of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).