Allegations against ISI ‘baseless’: Kayani
ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said on Friday US accusations that it is running a proxy war and supporting the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network are “very unfortunate and not based on facts”.
Responding to scathing criticism by the US military’s top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, Kayani denied allegations that his country is “exporting” terror to neighbouring Afghanistan. “While taking note of the recent statements made by Admiral Mullen... Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, termed these as very unfortunate and not based on facts,” a Pakistani military statement quoting him as saying.
“This is especially disturbing in view of a rather constructive meeting with Admiral Mullen in Spain,” referring to a recent meeting between the pair in Spain. Mullen on Thursday bluntly accused Pakistan of “exporting” violent extremism to Afghanistan through proxies and warned of possible action to protect American troops. Mullen said the country’s main intelligence agency the ISI was actively supporting Haqqani network. Mullen called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency”. He accused the Haqqanis – with ISI backing – of this month’s truck bombing on a NATO base in Afghanistan that wounded 77 Americans; a 19-hour siege on the US embassy in Kabul; and a June attack on the InterContinental hotel in Kabul. Responding to the question of contacts with Haqqanis, the Pakistan army chief said that “Admiral Mullen knows fully well which all countries are in contact with the Haqqanis. Singling out Pakistan is neither fair nor productive.” Kayani hoped “the blame game” should give way “to a constructive and meaningful engagement for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, an objective to which Pakistan is fully committed,” the statement added. afp