US senator says good relations with Pakistan in Washington’s interest

WASHINGTON, May 15 : Emphasizing Pakistan’s importance to Washington’s security interests in the region,  Senator John McCainhas said it is in the United States’ interest to have good relations with the nuclear-armed South Asian country.

“Pakistan is vital to United States national security interests for a broad variety of reasons, including the nuclear inventory that Pakistan has, including the fact that Pakistan’s role in the region is vital, not to mention relations with India,” the former Republican presidential candidate said at a Washington think-tank

McCain said the America’s mistake in breaking military relations with Pakistan in the 1990s still continues to impact their bilateral ties.

McCain displaying his patriotic countenance wi...

McCain displaying his patriotic countenance with the flattering background of a United States flag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“One of the gravest mistakes in recent history was the so-called Pressler Amendment, which basically cut off our military-to- military relations, and we are paying, still paying a very heavy price for.

The seasoned lawmaker opposed the notion that Pakistan is a failed state. He was answering a question by former PPP senator and World Bank official Dr Akbar Khawaja in the context of Pakistan’s importance and the upcoming NATO Summit Chicago.

At the same time, McCain alleged that there were links between the Pakistani intelligence and the Afghan Haqqani group, which, he said, carries out activities that kill Americans in Afghanistan.

 He argued that  the U.S. should proceed in its relations with Pakistan in a realistic manner
“And it is in our interest to have good relations with Pakistan. It is in our interest to aid Pakistan and try to assist them to a better democracy and a lessening of corruption and a severing of relations between the ISI and the Haqqani network. But we cannot force it,” he said.

“But whether we are successful in persuading them or not, Pakistan will remain a country that is vital to United States national security interests,” he noted.

“So I hope we will continue to work with the Pakistanis in every possible way we can, but we must take a totally realistic approach to our relations with Pakistan.”

Sources: MGCT, CSIS,

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