Pakistani defence attaché takes on Indian Army chief on terror charge

August 6th, 2008 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor was taken aback Wednesday when the Pakistani defence attache here vehemently contested his charge that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was involved in the terror attack on New Delhi’s mission in Kabul in which over 50 people, including two Indian diplomats, were killed. Kapoor’s remarks came during the course of his presentation here on the “Role of the Indian Army in the changing security paradigm”.

“ISI has been involved in the terror attacks against the Indian embassy in Kabul and the organisation needs to be reined in. Unless funds to the Taliban dry out, the US is in for a long haul in Afghanistan,” Kapoor said while referring to the situation in the war-torn country.

In the interactive session that followed, Pakistani defence attache Brig. Mohammad Iqbal sought to refute Kapoor’s charge.

“We have condemned in strongest words the act of terror against the (Indian) embassy in Kabul. India says there is proof of ISI involvement in the attack. But it has been over a month and no proof has been provided despite Pakistan’s demand for this,” Iqbal maintained.

“The men in uniform (ISI officers) are already reined in and do not require any more reining in. They will not do anything against the interests of the country,” he contended.

“We condemn all those funding the Taliban,” Iqbal said, adding: “Pakistan’s effort in the global war against terror, including in Afghanistan, is greater than any other country.”

Kapoor was placatory in his response, saying: “As good neighbours, I will not react to your comments.”

“Terrorism is affecting all of us. It is better to join forces to rid the region of terror,” he added for good measure.

Speaking to the media later, Iqbal said: “If I just listened and kept quiet it would have meant I was agreeing to the allegations of ISI involvement (in the Kabul blast). It was my moral obligation to clarify Pakistan’s stand.

“Proof has to be provided so that if there is any involvement of the ISI, it can be taken care of,” he added.

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