Rift opens up between Pak Army, government in wake of Mumbai attacks

December 2nd, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, Dec.2 (ANI): A rift has opened up between the Pakistani Government and the army in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.
“The Mumbai attacks seem to have exacerbated civil-military tensions within Pakistan,” the Telegraph quoted a STRATFOR analyst, as saying. Both the Dawn and the Telegraph have reported that “clear differences in perception” have surfaced between army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, President Asif Ali Zardar Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
The most visible evidence of the gulf occurred when Zardari promised India the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate would visit India to help with the investigation into the attack.
Less than 24-hours later the decision was revoked and the government announced that a more junior ISI officer would fly to India. It is now doubtful whether any official will go.
Gen Kayani had previously pledged to weed out pro-jihadi elements and reform the agency but the u-turn revived the question of whether the ISI has really been brought to heel.
The distrust between the army and the government dates back to before the Mumbai attacks, as the two sides have disagreed over how to conduct the “war on terror” and reform the ISI.
Pakistan has spent half of its existence under military rule and the latest dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, resigned as president in September after spending eight years in power.
Gen Kayani has since announced the military’’s withdrawal from politics but it remains a strong influence on all major decisions ranging from foreign policy to the economy.
A senior Pakistani army official was quoted by The News newspaper as saying that several Taliban militant leaders were “patriots” for offering to fight against India.
The official was quoted as saying: “We have no big issues with the militants in Fata [the tribal area]. We have only some misunderstandings with Baitullah Mehsud and Fazlullah. These misunderstandings could be removed through dialogue.” (ANI)

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