US pressing Pak to bring ISI under civilian control quickly

August 9th, 2008 - 11:16 am ICT by ANI  


Lahore, Aug.9 (ANI): A report appearing on the web site of the Voice of America (VOA) has claimed that the Bush Administration is pressing the Pakistan Government to bring the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Pakistan’’s primary spy service, under civilian control.
According to the report, Washington has taken this step apparently frustrated over what it believes to be collusion between at least some elements of Pakistan’’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and militants.
The New York Times quoted U.S. officials as saying last week that American intelligence agencies claim to have evidence from intercepted communications that ISI operatives may have helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India’’s embassy in Kabul. But Pakistani officials say US authorities have yet to offer them specific evidence to support the allegation.
A Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid told the VOA that he believes the Americans have known for “quite some time” - as has NATO - that the Afghan Taliban have received support from some elements in Pakistan.
He further said that the recent allegations have made clear that among the three terrorist elements - the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, and Al Qaeda - Pakistan only had an interest in supporting the Afghan Taliban. But he agrees with experts who contend the three groups cannot be considered separately, adding that if Pakistan supports one of them, it is probably supporting all of them.
Rashid says there is “no doubt” that very sophisticated acts of terrorism in Kabul have been carried out by the Taliban ally, Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is reported to be based in Pakistan. And the evidence cited in The New York Times “clearly seems to be based on telephone transcripts between the militants who attacked the embassy and Haqqani’’s network inside Pakistan.”
But whether such telephone contacts would extend to the ISI operatives, Rashid says, “The Americans have not disclosed the details of what they actually know.”
Rashid says Washington seems to be perplexed about what to do now. (ANI)

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