US: Pakistan intelligence is supporting militants


US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen (R) and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testify before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on September 22, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The US military's top officer accused Pakistan on Thursday of 'exporting' violent extremism to Afghanistan by allowing militants to act as an 'arm' of Islamabad's intelligence service.


Karen Bleier

According to US officials it might be possible that Pakistan's intelligence agency encouraged a Pakistan based militant group, the Haqqani network to carry out the attack last week on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

However, Pakistani Foreign Office spokeswoman, Tehmina Janjua rejected these allegations, reports the Express Tribune. The ISI, she argued, is not using a militant network based in Pakistan in a proxy war in Afghanistan.

Janjua, who spoke at a briefing in Islambad, said that Pakistan had no cooperation with the Haqqani network, and was definitely not fighting a war through the Al Qaeda linked militant group in Afghanistan, reports the Express Tribune.

Pakistan's quiet support for militants has become a preeminent issue in Washington, reports the Christian Science Monitor. After the covert raid by Navy Seals in Abbotabad that killed Pakistani soil, relations between Pakistan and Washington had been strained.

According to Reuters, the attack last week in Kabul has sent the already tense relationship between the two countries spiraling downward.

During a speech to the Carnegie Endwoment for International Peace on Tuesday, Admiral MIke Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: "The ISI has been doing this – working for – supporting proxies for an extended period of time. It is a strategy in the country and I think that strategic approach has to shift in the future."

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) said that unilateral actions in Pakistan by the United States should not be ruled out. However, what's certain, reports the CS Monitor, is that the United Staes needs Pakistan for logistical support.

However, it seems that relations between Washington and Islamabad are due to change. This week, a US Senate committee voted to make $1 billion in aid to Pakistan conditional on Pakistan cracking down on militants, reports the BBC. While the House of Representatives and Senate still need to approve the measure, BBC reports that this reflects the degree of frustration in Washington.