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Swat agreement unnerving the US: Top intelligence official

world Updated: Mar 11, 2009 12:11 IST
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Coming out openly against the recent agreement between the militants and NWFP Government in the picturesque Swat Valley of Pakistan, a top intelligence official on Wednesday said this has been unnerving the US.

"It is also unnerving to us from the standpoint of what that means to other militants in the region," Lt General Michael Maples, Director, Defence Intelligence Agency of the US Army said while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Maples was responding to a question asked by Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina. The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said the Swat agreement has been a issue of concern for the US.

"We are very concerned about that," he said.

"I believe it is at least initially was a belief that he could reduce violence by giving into that. The reality is it hasn't changed the activities of the militants," he said.

"As a matter of fact to me it is a very disturbing event that could really send the wrong signal to the wrong people at the wrong time," Senator Graham said, to which Maples responded by saying "absolutely."

Earlier in his testimony, Maples said: “In the Swat Valley, a "settled" district of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), the government recently agreed to militant demands to impose Shari’a law in the district, a move that could embolden militant organizations in other parts of the country."