Washington, Apr 4 : A top US military officer has said that the US was watching closely what strategy the new Pakistan government devises to combat terrorism along its Afghan border, and that it will work with Islamabad only after the strategy is made known to it.
He said Pakistan was a sovereign country and had every right to formulate its own strategy.
Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the new government could have a new direction, but confirmed that the country would continue to be a close anti-terror partner.
"We need to be mindful that this is a new government, new leadership, could certainly have new direction and that they, too, are a sovereign country. They're a strong ally. They've been a strong ally in this war on terror, and I believe they will continue to be. And we just need to be thinking about how to both recognise this new government, what their plans will be, and then work with them accordingly," the Daily Times quoted Mullen as saying at a press briefing at Pentagon.
Mullen told reporters that as with any new administration, it would take some time for the new government to establish itself fully and begin heading "in the direction that they want to go".
Mullen's comments assume significance in the wake of the recent briefing given by Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani to new Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, his cabinet colleagues and other coalition leaders.