Pakistan using terrorists against India: Pentagon

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2014 01:56 IST

The US military has once again slammed Pakistan for using terrorists as its proxies to further its plans in the region, especially with regards to India and militarily-fragile Afghanistan.

"Afghan- and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability," the Pentagon said in a recent report to US congress on the situation in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India's superior military," the report added.

This is not the first time the United States has accused Pakistan of using terrorists as its proxies. Referring to a conversation with the Pakistani army chief, then US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Mike Mullen said in a speech in 2011 that "We covered... the need for the Haqqani network to disengage, specifically the need for the ISI to disconnect from Haqqani and from this proxy war that they're fighting."

The next day, at a congressional hearing, Admiral Mullen went further and said the Haqqani network "acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency".

US frustration with Pakistan's continued use of terrorists was one reason why Islamabad did't get a heads-up on the Abbottabad raid, despite being an ally in the war against terror.

The new Pentagon report underlined that frustration once again: "These relationships (the Pakistan has with terrorists) run counter to Pakistan's public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan- Pakistan bilateral relations."

The report also mentioned the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat earlier in the year, three days before Prime Minister Narendra modi's swearing in. "Prime Minister Modi is perceived as being close to Hindu nationalist groups, a fact that may have played into the timing of the attack," said the report.

That attack was carried out by Lashkar-i-Tayyeba.

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