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‘US linking ISI with Haqqani unfortunate’

The war of words between Pakistan and the US on the ISI’s alleged links with the Haqqani network has further escalated with Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani describing US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen’s accusations as “not based on facts”.

world Updated: Sep 25, 2011 01:51 IST

The war of words between Pakistan and the US on the ISI’s alleged links with the Haqqani network has further escalated with Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani describing US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen’s accusations as “not based on facts”.

In a statement issued on Friday evening, the powerful army chief described Mullen’s remarks as “as very unfortunate and not based on facts”.

He added: “This is especially disturbing in view of a rather constructive meeting with admiral Mullen in Spain.”

The Pakistan military had maintained a studied silence as several US officials linked the Inter-Services Intelligence agency to the Haqqani network and called on Islamabad to take action against the Taliban faction.

Kayani responded a day after Mullen accused the ISI of supporting the Haqqani network in carrying out a string of deadly terror attacks, including an assault on the US Embassy in Kabul on September 13.

Kayani categorically denied US accusations of “proxy war and ISI support to Haqqanis” and said the “blame game in public statements should give way to a constructive and meaningful engagement...”