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NATO to broaden its engagement with Pak: Mullen

Washington, May 23 (ANI): The US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen has said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is working to broaden its engagement with Pakistan.

Addressing a congressional hearing here, Admiral Mullen said NATO is working out a strategy to seek a more in-depth relationship with Pakistan to help the troubled country counter the terrorism and instability more effectively.

“Where I see NATO going is increasingly toward a broader and more in depth relationship with Pakistan, because of the common interests,” The Dawn quoted Admiral Mullen, as saying.

Broadening its engagement does not mean that NATO would offer membership to Islamabad, but experts believe that the military alliance headquartered in Brussels may offer greater training facilities.

NATO may also greater help to Pakistan by providing it with more sophisticated equipments to counter the extremism.

“There are ongoing discussions in various venues outside the military (as well) to connect more internationally through these organisations, alliances, whatever they might be,” Admiral Mullen said.

Backing the NATO’s plan, he said that strategies to strengthen the relationship with Pakistan should be implemented as soon as possible to thwart the challenges posed by the Taliban and other outlawed extremist groups.

“I see that as growing, and certainly the capacity in some of these other areas that other organisations have and represent are critical, and the more of that we can do, and the sooner we can do it, I think the better off we’ll be,” Admiral Mullen said.

Pakistan is already serving as a base camp for the NATO supplies for the security forces stationed in Afghanistan, but the latest engagement may allow the organization to play a more effective and direct role inside Pakistan. (ANI)

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