Pak faces pressure from US, West to curb ISI

December 2nd, 2008 - 12:06 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Dec 2 (ANI): Pakistan is facing huge pressure from the US and the West to curb its intelligence service ISI, the organisation that has sponsored an array of Islamist terrorists, following the Mumbai massacre.

The ISI has been blamed of having links with the group blamed for carrying out the Mumbai attacks including Lashkar-e-Toiba, the group being blamed for the attacks which led to deaths of 195 people, The Independent reports.

However, Pakistans recently elected civilian government has very limited room for manoeuvre. Many of those who are ministers now have had to deal with the ISI in the past to safeguard their careers, and the intelligence service knows where the bodies are buried in the violent and murky political history of the country.

The agency also has a vast coffer, with revenues coming from an array of sources including a vast official budget and proceeds from the opium trade, and is unlikely to surrender its political and economic clout without a fight.

American and British commanders in Afghanistan and President Hamid Karzais administration have repeatedly claimed that the ISI had been playing a key role in training and supplying arms to Taliban fighters carrying out cross-border attacks from Pakistan.

NATOs commander in the country, US general David McKiernan, charged that there was a level of ISI complicity between the organisation and the insurgents.

Last week the Pakistani Government announced that it had taken major steps towards reforming the ISI by shutting down its political unit. The move aims to halt the organisations domestic spying operations on politicians.

But the staff from the political unit have not been dismissed but absorbed within the organisation and would carry on their work under another guise. Even if the ban worked, it would not, it is claimed, curtail the organisation’’s close links with Islamist extremists, The Independent said. (ANI)

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