US says it has 'complicated' ties with Pakistan
Washington, May 4 : Amid intense speculation that at least some in Pakistan would have known about Osama bin Laden's hideout, the US has said that it has a "complicated relationship" with Islamabad.
"It's a complicated but important relationship," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told the media here. "Pakistan is a partner - a key partner - in the fight against Al Qaeda and terrorism.
"It's a complicated relationship. There's no question. And we do have our differences.
"It's important to note that there are many people in Pakistan and there are many people in the Pakistan government, so you have to be careful about tarring everyone either in the country or the government...
"Because they have provided extremely useful assistance over the years. And we look forward to cooperating with Pakistan going into the future.
"And so while we recognize that there are complicated differences between our two countries and how we approach and view things at times, there has also been a great deal of important cooperation," he added.
That, he underlined, "should not be lost" as the US continues to battle terrorists in the region.
The dramatic killing of Osama at a mansion in Abbottabad city, close to a Pakistani military academy, has caused irritants in Pakistan-US relations.
There are growing voices that the elusive Al Qaeda leader, wanted for plotting the audacious 9/11 terrorist attack, could not have lived so deep inside Pakistan without some Pakistani support.
But Carney pointed out that Pakistan had provided "useful and important assistance and cooperation" for years.
He said this when he was asked if the White House had a view on some US lawmakers suggesting freezing aid to Pakistan until they demonstrated that they didn't know anything about Osama's whereabouts.
But he said the US needed to find out how Osama lived in such a secure environment.
"We look forward to finding out more information about the support network that did allow bin Laden to hide in this compound in a suburb of Islamabad. We understand the Pakistanis are investigating as well."
Carney said the US was not aware, as of now, "if anybody in the (Pakistani) government was aware that bin Laden or a high-value target was living in this (Abbottabad) compound.
"It's logical to assume that he had some sort of supporting network, but what constituted that network is-remains to be seen.
"It's a big country and a big government, and we have to be very focused and careful about how we do this because it is an important relationship.
"I would also say that the idea that these kind of complications exist is not new... This is not an issue that arrived on our doorstep on Sunday."
But Carney reiterated that intelligence was not shared with Pakistan about the Sunday raid by US commandos who flew into Abbottabad, killed Osama and flew away with his body -- after a 40-minute firefight.
"Pakistan did provide and has provided useful intelligence and cooperation over the years, and broadly speaking, provided assistance that helped us build the mountain of information that we needed to build in order to find bin Laden and execute this mission.
"We need to keep the fight up against Al Qaeda. And Pakistan is very important - a very important partner in that effort...
"We remain confident that that (Pakistani) cooperation will continue."(IANS)