The Pentagon admitted that tension exists between US-Pakistan ties after American special forces killed Taliban chief Mullah Mansour in a drone attack in the country’s restive Balochistan province but denied any visible blow back from Islamabad..
But Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif said “US drone strikes in Pakistani territory are regrettable and must stop.”
Army Brigadier General Charles H Cleveland, deputy chief of staff for communications, Resolute Support Mission, Afghanistan, said, “In this case, we haven’t seen any visible blow back from Pakistan yet.”
Cleveland was responding to questions on the sharp reaction from Pakistan after a US drone strike killed Mansour in Balochistan on May 21.
“And we certainly hope not,” Cleveland told Pentagon reporters during a video conference from Kabul.
Further adding Cleveland said”Clearly, there is still some tension and there is some back-and-forth. What we’re trying to focus, though, is sustaining and maintaining the military-to-military relationship that we’ve already got established. And that really starts with General Nicholson and goes down a couple of different levels.”
“That is part of the effort that General (John) Nicholson (Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan) takes in terms of engaging his counterparts. But at this point, we have not really seen any military-to-military issues,” he said.
“So by and large, what we’re trying to focus on is ensuring that we maintain a good, positive, healthy military- to-military relationship with the Pakistani military,” Cleveland said.