Mike Mullen slams Pakistan for having ties with militants
He repeated his remarks about the sinister alliance between ISI and the Haqqani network - a terrorist group, to the Pakistani media.
In an interview to the Dawn, he said, "It's fairly well known that the ISI has a longstanding relationship with the Haqqani network...Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn't happen...So that's at the core - it's not the only thing - but that's at the core that I think is the most difficult part of the relationship."
It has always been suspected that ISI, the Pakistani spy agency has had strong links with the Haqqani network - a terrorist group nurtured during the 1980s by Jalaluddin Haqqani against the erstwhile USSR in Afghanistan.
The accusation is another in a series of accusations by the US military officials about the dual face of Pakistan in the fight against terror. But it assumes significance in the context of the current turmoil in the US-Pak relations after it was reported that blood-money was paid to secure the release of American diplomat Davis who had shot two Pakistani citizens to death.
Pakistan has always been criticised for distinguishing between "good" Taliban and "bad" ones. The Haqqani network, that Pakistan classifies as the former category, generally abstains from attacking the Pakistani state and is seen as a way to maintain the country's influence in any future political settlement in Afghanistan.