Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pakistani ISI and Terrorism

The New York Times reported that American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence were involved in the July 7 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

The report cited unnamed U.S. government officials. It said the conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Sadiq described the report as "total rubbish," saying there was no evidence of ISI involvement.

"The foreign newspapers keep writing such things against ISI, and we reject these allegations," he said by telephone from a summit of South Asian leaders in Sri Lanka.

Government spokeswoman Sherry Rehman also said there was "no proof" of ISI involvement in the bombing.

However, she said that there were "probably" individuals in the ISI working against official policy — the first acknowledgment from Pakistan's new government that Taliban sympathizers may lurk in the agency.

Authorities "need to identify these people and weed them out," Rehman said.

Afghanistan has long accused the ISI of backing the Taliban-led insurgency wracking the country, despite Pakistan's support of the U.S.-led war on terror. The embassy bombing was the deadliest in Kabul since the 2001 ouster of the Islamist regime in a U.S. invasion.


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