A top US general has accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, of running its own foreign policy apart from maintaining close connection with terrorists.
Although Pakistan has rubbished such allegations, it could possibly be the strongest indictment of the support that ISI provides to terrorist groups. Pakistan’s immediate neighbors, India and Afghanistan, have time and again blamed the country’s security establishment for creating, nurturing, harboring and using terrorist groups for proxy wars.
In his report to to the members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a Congressional hearing, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Pakistan has some serious connection with the terrorist groups.
“I think it’s clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist group.”
Dunford further said that over the past few years, the US had sought a bilateral approach towards effecting a change in Pakistan’s behavior. Later he added that there is not one thing, rather many, and that Pakistan might require to change it’s behavior. He thinks a multilateral approach is needed to usher in changes in Pakistan’s behavior.
Not only the US general but his secretary Jim Mattis took his turn in slamming the ISI. According to Mattis:
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“We have seen havens left to the terrorists’ own devices. We have seen the government of Pakistan come down on terrorism, while ISI appears to run its own foreign policy.”
It is to be noted that such strong statements against Pakistan came just hours before the Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif landed in the US capital on a three-day visit. Asif is scheduled to meet the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the National Security Adviser H R McMaster and address the think-tank community at the US Institute of Peace.
Furthermore, while attending the annual UN General Assembly sessions in New York last week, Asif had slammed United States for being responsible for the rise of terrorist groups in Pakistan.
On his appearance before the Asia Society in New York, Asif had said:
“Don’t blame us for Haqqanis or don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds. These were the people who were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people.”