The top U.S. military officer said Wednesday he likes what he sees so far in Pakistan’s response to last month’s terror attacks in India, including the arrests of key militants, but said time will tell if Pakistan’s crackdown is for real. “We measure by deeds,” Adm. Mike Mullen said.
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer
Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, speaks to the media during a news briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. Mullen said both India and Pakistan have shown admirable restraint following the deadly attack on the financial center of Mumbai, and that Pakistan has taken good first steps by arresting key militants who may have had a hand in planning the attack.(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Mullen visited Pakistan and India last week, tag-teaming the pressure on Pakistan’s shaky civilian government with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Describing his meetings to reporters, Mullen said he was impressed by the stated commitment of Pakistani leaders.
“I sense a real appreciation for both the seriousness of the attacks and the growing threats of terrorism inside their own borders,” Mullen said at the Pentagon.
He praised raids on militant facilities that followed his visit, and gave Pakistan’s influential military chief an unusually strong endorsement.
The media-shy Army chief, Gen., is sometimes described as Pakistan’s shadow ruler. Mullen noted the two have met frequently in the past several months, although he did not mention the context for some of their discussions — the rise in U.S.-Pakistan tensions over U.S. terror-hunting raids on Pakistani soil.
“In my interactions with him, we’ve usually discussed how to move forward. And what he’s told me he would do he has done,” Mullen said. “This is another example of that.”
Mullen said he is encouraged that Pakistan seems to have arrested “some of the right people, significant players” in the banned.