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ISI chief refuses to meet visiting US officials

world Updated: Apr 08, 2009 08:46 IST

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Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief on Tuesday refused to meet visiting US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke and American military commander Admiral Mike Mullen in an apparent reaction to criticism of his organisation for its alleged links with militants.

ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha refused to meet Holbrooke and Mullen, who had sought a meeting, because of the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff's recent criticism of the spy agency, Dawn News channel quoted military sources as saying.

There was no official word on the development. Pasha refused to meet the US officials because of Mullen's criticism and allegations about the ISI's links with Taliban militants, the channel reported.

Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani too brought up the issue during his meeting with Holbrooke and Mullen, Dawn News reported.

Kayani reportedly took strong exception to the criticism of the ISI, sources said. The army chief said the sincerity of the ISI and his force should not be questioned.

The ISI's role is "purely professional" and the army is committed to fighting terrorism, Kayani reportedly said. Both institutions had no links with militants, including the Taliban, Kayani reportedly told the two US officials.