‘Pakistani military brass worried about Islamists within’

May 28th, 2011 - 11:55 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 28 (IANS) Top Pakistani military officials are increasingly concerned that their ranks are penetrated

by Islamists who are aiding militants in a campaign against the state, says the Washington Post.

Those worries have grown especially acute since the killing of Osama bin Laden less than a mile from a prestigious
military academy and a series of insurgent attacks on high-security sites, the influential US daily said in a report from Islamabad.

Pakistan’s army chief, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, like the civilian government has publicly expressed anger over the secret US raid, but he was really shaken by the discovery of bin Laden. So he told US officials in a recent meeting that his first priority was “bringing our house in order,” the daily said citing a senior Pakistani intelligence official who has talked with Kayani.

But the Post said it is unclear how authentically committed Kayani and other top military leaders are to cleansing their ranks.

US officials and Pakistani analysts cited by the Post say support by the nation’s top military spy agency for insurgent groups, particularly those that attack in India and Afghanistan, is de facto security policy in Pakistan, not a matter of a few rogue elements.

Post cited US officials as saying they do not believe Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha or Kayani knew about Pakistani militants’ plans to attack Mumbai in 2008.

But federal prosecutors have implicated the ISI in the ongoing trial of Pakistan born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana in Chicago, where the star witness Pakistani American David Coleman Headley has said he was paid by the spy agency to help arrange the attack.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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