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ISI being restructured and cleansed, says Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the ISI is in the process of being "restructured and cleansed" in the wake of suggestions of its links with the Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

world Updated: Apr 12, 2009 11:05 IST

The ISI is in the process of being "restructured and cleansed" in the wake of suggestions of its links with the Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.

"Now we are in the process of restructuring ISI. ISI has been cleansed," he told Karan Thapar on the Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.

Qureshi said the present leadership of the ISI is very clear of the challenges of tackling terrorism and extremism.

He said ISI has made positive contribution in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

"Without ISI's help you could not have apprehended the 700 or so Al-Qaeda operatives. ISI has done more than any other organisation has done," he said.

Top US officials had recently indicated that elements in ISI have links with the Taliban militia and Al-Qaeda.

Asked whether he suggested that there was a period prior to cleansing when the old, unclean ISI might have had links with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Qureshi said, "Well, I am telling you we are following a hands-off policy...Which in our view is in Pakistan's interest."

Qureshi said he had told US special envoy Richard Holbrooke and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen about the positive contributions ISI had made in the fight against terror.