WASHINGTON: Pakistan's world view is clouded by a perception that they are threatened by India resulting in very mixed messages from Islamabad on fighting terrorism, according to US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta.
"In some ways we share a common concern and a common threat," he told CBC Television in an interview. "Terrorism is as much a threat to Pakistan and the people of Pakistan as it is to us and to the people of Afghanistan."
"But the problem is that they view their position in that part of the world as one that is threatened, threatened by India, threatened by others, threatened by ... concern about ... what kind of position are they going to have for the future," Panetta said.
"And as a result of that, sometimes we get very mixed messages from Pakistan as to just exactly where they're going to be," he said referring to the ups and downs in the US-Pakistan relationship.
But in his view "it's an absolutely essential relationship," Panetta said suggesting, "frankly, you can't really have peace in Afghanistan until we've been able to ensure that we have peace in Pakistan with regards to the terrorists."
The US defence secretary said the US never told the Pakistanis anything about the US before the May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan because of concerns that information may be leaked out.
"The concern we had is that, you know, we had provided intelligence to them with regards to other areas and unfortunately, for one way or another, it got leaked to the individuals we were trying to go after," he said.
"So as a result of that we were concerned that if we were going to perform a sensitive mission like this, we had to do it on our own," Panetta said.