Pakistan’s ISI has militant links: Mullen

The United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen has accused Inter Service Intelligence(ISI) of Pakistan for having close relation with the Haqqani terrorist network which is believed to be behind most of the attacks on foreign installations and individuals in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Talking to Pakistan based English daily Dawn,the US official said that “it’s fairly well known that the ISI has a longstanding relationship with the Haqqani network”.

“Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen”, Mullen

Mullen’s remark comes just before the talk with his Pakistani counterpart Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Mullen is visiting Pakistan in order to normalize the relationship between the US and the Islamic Republic which got frayed after Raymond Davis episode.

This is not the first time that a US official is talking about the alleged links between a section of the ISI and the terrorist network.

But a senior Pakistani intelligence official talking to Reuters news agency denied the American accusation.
“If he means we’re providing him with protection, with help, that’s not correct,” quotes Reuters.

A prominent English daily, Express Tribune,Pakistan, analyzing the remarks writes that “Washington is not about to back away from calls for Pakistan to take a more assertive stand against the Haqqanis – even as the US seeks to mend diplomatic ties with Islamabad”.

After a meeting on Thursday between Mullen and General Kayani a US embassy statement says that “throughout the visit, the admiral emphasised the long-term US commitment to supporting Pakistan in its fight against violent extremists”.
Express Tribune says that “the crucial talks between Mullen and Kayani were meant to defuse tensions that had been mounting after CIA operative Raymond Davis killed two Pakistanis in Lahore early this year.Military and civilian leaders from both sides have since been involved in a series of efforts to save the troubled alliance but there has not been any significant headway.”

Pakistan has been arguing that since it is involved in the fight against another terrorist group, Tehreek-e-Taliban.

Haqqani terrorist network has been based in Waziristan area of Pakistan since 2001.The group was created in 1980s by the ISI to fight the Russian under the leadership of Jalaluddin Haqani.