General sees progress in US-Pakistan relationship

By LOLITA C. BALDOR | May 23, 2012 | 4:35 PM EDT

Marine Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, pauses during a news conference at the Pentagon, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan insists that the U.S. is making some progress in its shaky relationship with Pakistan and that risks have to be taken in order to build the kind of trust needed to win the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

Gen. John Allen says the fact that U.S. and Pakistani leaders are talking again is a positive sign. His comments come despite a recent string of setbacks, including Pakistan's refusal to reopen ground supply routes into Afghanistan and its decision Wednesday to imprison a doctor that helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden.

Allen is acknowledging that the relationship isn't back on track yet. U.S. officials have long said winning the war depends on Pakistan's willingness to battle insurgents on its side of the border.