(Reuters) - Pakistan warned the United States it risks losing an ally if it continued to accuse Islamabad of playing a double game in the war against militancy, escalating the crisis in relations between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was responding to comments by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who said Pakistan's top spy agency was closely tied to the Haqqani network, the most violent and effective faction among Islamic Taliban militants in Afghanistan.
It is the most serious allegation leveled by the United States against nuclear-armed and Muslim-majority Pakistan since they began an alliance in the "war on terror" a decade ago.
"You will lose an ally," Khar told Geo TV in New York in remarks broadcast on Friday.
"You cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, you cannot afford to alienate the Pakistani people. If you are choosing to do so and if they are choosing to do so it will be at their (the United States') own cost."
Mullen, speaking in Senate testimony, alleged Haqqani operatives launched an attack last week on the U.S. embassy in Kabul with the support of Pakistan's military intelligence.
The tensions could have repercussions across Asia, from India, Pakistan's economically booming arch-rival, to China, which has edged closer to Pakistan in recent years. Full Report