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Indications of ISI supporting Qaeda, Taliban: US

The US has said there are indications that elements of ISI are either actually supporting Al-Qaeda and Taliban or are sympathetic to them and asked Pakistan’s intelligence agency to change this “strategic approach”.

world Updated: Mar 28, 2009 16:22 IST

The US has said there are indications that elements of ISI are either actually supporting al-Qaeda and Taliban or are sympathetic to them and asked Pakistan’s intelligence agency to change this “strategic approach”.

“There are certainly indications that that’s the case. And fundamentally that’s one of the things that has to change,” Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN when asked about reports in US media regarding elements in ISI actually supporting or being sympathetic to the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.

“The agency you’re really talking about ... is their (Pakistan’s) intelligence agency, the ISI. I believe for a significant period of time now, fundamentally, the strategic approach with the ISI must change,” the top US military officer said.

“Their (ISI) support for militants, their support for militants actually on both borders, has to fundamentally shift...,” Mullen said.

He said that Pakistan’s tribal belt remains the safe haven for the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

“The safe haven here gives them an opportunity to train, gives them an opportunity to rest and actually gives them an opportunity, particularly the Taliban, to move back in... And that’s the safe haven we’ve got to eliminate,” he said.