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US military chief attacks ISI terror link

A senior American official has warned Pakistan that continuing relations between the Pakistan spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence and terrorist groups was "not acceptable" to the United States. Anirudh Bhattacharyya reports.

world Updated: Jul 30, 2010 23:07 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

A senior American official has warned Pakistan that continuing relations between the Pakistan spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and terrorist groups was "not acceptable" to the United States.

During a special briefing in Washington on the Wikileaks issue, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said there were "elements" within the ISI that have "a relationship with extremist organisations".

In that context, he said, "We consider that unacceptable." He also said that while the Pakistan military was "still focused on rebuilding this trust", it was "not yet rebuilt."

The war logs, nearly 90,000 documents posted online and released to three international publications, underscored how the ISI had worked to fund and direct terrorist groups targeting American and coalition forces in Afghanistan as well as the Afghan Government and Indian interests in that country.

The matter was also referred to by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, at the same briefing. He said, "I have talked about the fact that one of the challenges the US has faced in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is that they vividly remember us walking out in 1989, and being left to deal with their own security situation on their own.

The notion that, under those circumstances and not knowing whether they could count on us to be there, the notion that they would hedge in one way or another is not a surprise."

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