Militants Overtake India as Top Threat, Says Pakistan's ISI

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ajtr, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Militants Overtake India as Top Threat, Says Pakistan's ISI


    Pakistan's main spy agency says homegrown Islamist militants have overtaken the Indian army as the greatest threat to national security, a finding with potential ramifications for relations between the two rival South Asian nations and for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

    A recent internal assessment of security by the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's powerful military spy agency, determined that for the first time in 63 years it expects a majority of threats to come from Islamist militants, according to a senior ISI officer.

    The assessment, a regular review of national security, allocates a two-thirds likelihood of a major threat to the state coming from militants rather than from India or elsewhere. It is the first time since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947 that India hasn't been viewed as the top threat. Decades into one of the most bitter neighborly rivalries in modern history, both countries maintain huge troop deployments along their Himalayan border.

    "It's earth shattering. That's a remarkable change," said Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism specialist and professor at Georgetown University. "It's yet another ratcheting up of the Pakistanis' recognition of not only their own internal problems but cooperation in the war on terrorism."It is unclear whether the assessment of the ISI—a powerful group largely staffed by active military officers—is fully endorsed by Pakistan's military and civilian government. The report's impact on troop positioning and Pakistan's war against militants remains to be seen.

    The assessment reflects the thinking in the mainstream of the ISI. But U.S. officials worry that elements of Pakistan's military establishment, which they say includes retired ISI officers, continue to lend support to militants that shelter in Pakistan's tribal regions, an effort these people say is aimed at building influence in Afghanistan once the U.S. pulls out.

    The U.S., which gives between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in military aid to Pakistan annually, is particularly concerned about one of these groups, the Haqqani network. U.S. military officials recently stopped asking the Pakistanis to take action against the group, which has strong ties to al Qaeda, because they concluded pressuring the Pakistanis on the issue wasn't working.

    Gen. Athar Abbas, the chief Pakistan military spokesman, said he hadn't seen the ISI report. He said India remained a threat but confirmed that it is the ISI's role to draw up security assessments.

    A spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs didn't return calls seeking comment. Over the weekend, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged Pakistan to crack down on militants. "If this is not done, we cannot progress far in our dialogue with Pakistan," Mr. Singhhe said.

    Pakistan's admissionthat domestic militants are its No. 1 enemy could reinvigorate stalled peace talks with India."It's a good sign, but one has to wait and watch" whether it will lead to sterner action by Pakistan against militants, says Naresh Chandra, a former Indian ambassador to the U.S. and chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, which advises the government on security policy.

    The assessment has the potential to shift Pakistan's Afghan policy, which has been driven by the belief that India is seeking influence there in order to encircle its traditional enemy.

    While the jostling for influence in Afghanistan between Pakistan and India isn't likely to diminish, the ISI's assessment could push Pakistan to take even stronger action against Pakistani and Afghan militants operating from the porous mountain region along the country's border with Afghanistan. Such action, U.S. officials have said, is a key to winning the Afghan war.

    Hindu-majority India and largely Muslim Pakistan have fought three wars over territory since 1947. Both sides are nuclear armed and have historically regarded the other as a pre-eminent threat to security.

    The U.S. has been playing a behind-the-scenes role to dial down tensions between the nations. Washington wants Pakistan to redeploy more troops from its eastern frontier with India and send them to Pakistan's western border regions, which Taliban militants use as a base for attacks on U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces inside Afghanistan.

    Peace talks began in 2004 but India pulled out in November 2008 after 10 Pakistani gunmen killed more than 160 people in an attack on Mumbai, India's financial capital. The sides started talking again in February but have so farmade little progress amid Indian accusations that Pakistan hasn't moved firmly enough against the attacks' perpetrators.

    The significance of the ISI's assessment will hinge on exactly which militant groups it considers a threat, said Georgetown's Mr. Hoffman.

    The Pakistan Taliban and its allies have unleashed a wave of suicide bombings across Pakistan, killing almost 7,000 civilians since 2003. These attacks have turned public sentiment against the Pakistan Taliban.

    The U.S. has praised the military's war against the Pakistan Taliban, begun in earnest two years ago. , which has led to the death of more than 2,000 Pakistani soldiers.But it has been frustrated by Pakistan's failure to broaden the war to go after other al Qaeda-linked militant groups that use Pakistan's tribal regions to launch attacks on U.S. forces. Some U.S. officials believe elements of the military continue to fund the Haqqani network, which doesn't attack Pakistani forces and could be useful allies in Afghanistan when the U.S. pulls troops out.

    India says it believes the ISI retains ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which New Delhi blames for carrying out the Mumbai attacks.

    The ISI, whose links with militant groups dates to the U.S.-backed war against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, says it has now severed relations with groups including the Haqqanis and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    The ISI's new assessment is at odds with the projection of India inside Pakistan. Politicians and the media regularly hold up India as working to undermine Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan. Others believe India is stealing water from Pakistan by building dams on shared rivers. And many Pakistanis blame India for funding a separatist insurgency in Baluchistan province. India denies the charges.

    A recent report by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., found that 53% of Pakistanis polled considered India the biggest threat to national security versus 23% for the Taliban and 3% for al Qaeda.

    Pakistan became especially focused on the threat from India after losing East Pakistan, now the independent nation of Bangladesh, after a war between the two nations in 1971. Some 80,000 Pakistani soldiers were taken prisoner by India and Pakistan lost half of its territory.

    Although there has been no formal war since then, Pakistan trained and armed Islamist guerrillas—including militants from Lashkar-e-Taiba—in the 1990s to fight Indian troops in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory that was split between India and Pakistan in 1948 and is claimed in its entirety by both countries.

    After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. pressured Pakistan to ban Lashkar-e-Taiba and a number of other Islamist militant groups, leading to a drop in militant infiltrations into Indian-held Kashmir. But many of the Punjab-based militants continued to operate, finding shelter with Taliban fighters in the tribal areas.

    Gen. Abbas, the military spokesman, says Pakistan plans to mount a campaign against the Haqqanis in North Waziristan, the group's mountainous base in the tribal regions. But the operation has been delayed as the Pakistan Taliban has recently staged a comeback in other tribal areas that the military had earlier secured, he added.

    Pakistan has about 150,000 soldiers fighting on its western border, with an additional100,000 in reserve to rotate with those troops, the senior ISI officer said. The country's remaining 350,000 soldiers are focused on the border with India, including the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir. "The direct threat from India has reduced considerably but that's not to say it's diminished entirely," the ISI officer said.

    Obama administration officials have expressed fears Pakistan could move troops back to the Indian frontier if relations with India deteriorate. In April, Michèle Flournoy, under secretary of defense for policy, told the U.S. House Armed Services Committee that "Pakistan's strategic concerns about India remain pre-eminent" despite the redeployment of troops to fight militants.

    "Any significant escalation of tensions between Pakistan and India could cause Pakistan to shift its large military presence in the western border areas back toward its eastern border with India," Ms. Flournoy said. "We must continue to reassure Pakistan that as it combats the threats posed by its domestic terrorists, it is not exposing itself to increased risk along its eastern border."
     
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  3. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pak realizes it now ..... World realized it years back. Good luck in exterminating the locust you guys breed all these years.
     
  4. dranzer

    dranzer Regular Member

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    their rigid thinking has been made flexible by the continuous pressure from U.S...i hope that this realisation would enable them to stabilise their country...
     
  5. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    India Doubts ISI is Shifting Focus to Militants

    Pakistan’s recent assessment that domestic militancy - and not India - is the country’s preeminent security threat could help spur the military there to take further action against Taliban militants.

    But the strategic shift is likely to be met with skepticism in India, at least for now.

    The Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency, in a regular security assessment, says it sees two thirds of potential threats coming from Islamist militants. That is the first time in Pakistan’s 63 years of existence that India’s army has not been viewed as the top security concern.

    India will want to see action rather than an assessment of risk. India thinks Pakistan has not done enough to crack down on the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks in 2008. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during an Independence Day speech at the Red Fort Sunday, said more action on that front is a prerequisite to better relations with Pakistan.

    Some Indian observers are also wary about whether the ISI’s mainstream, which authored the security assessment, are able to control rogue elements - former ISI and military officers that many in India and the U.S. believe have maintained ties with militants.

    “It’s a good development, provided the bulk of the ISI, including retired officers, take a hint,” said Naresh Chandra, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board.

    Rebuilding trust between the two sides is going to take some time. The last round of peace talks in mid-July broke down after India said it had evidence the ISI was directly involved in the Mumbai attacks, a claim the ISI denies.

    Pakistan maintains that it has severed ties with militants that it once fostered to fight in Afghanistan as well as Indian troops in the disputed region of Kashmir. Many of those militants have in the past couple of years turned against Pakistan, which they see as too close to the U.S.

    Still, Islamabad’s relations with militants that focus on India, and don’t attack Pakistan, like Lashkar-e-Taiba, are less clear. New Delhi in recent weeks has blamed Pakistan for continuing to send militants in to India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, which has erupted in separatist violence since mid-June. Pakistan denies this.

    For now, peace seems far off. But Pakistan’s admission that India is not its biggest threat could in the long run help to reinvigorate peace talks with Pakistan that Mr. Singh has made a key goal of his administration.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/08/17/india-doubts-isi-is-shifting-focus-to-militants/

    this is per sure......
     
  6. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    for getting aid now they will say anything .
     
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well apparently this is not a new position as it is being made out to be. Or probably this is the first formalizing of the new position. Take a look at this June 2009 article where Spiegal interview ISI head

    'Terror Is Our Enemy, Not India'
    General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha has been the head of the ISI, Pakistan's notoriously independent intelligence agency, for the past three months. He makes a cosmopolitan impression and says he takes his orders from the civilian government. But how much control does Pasha have over his own organization?

    A new war appears to be brewing between the two nuclear powers Pakistan and India. The Pakistanis claim that Indian fighter jets are invading their air space, while normally moderate experts are going on television to demand "revenge" for "false accusations" coming from New Delhi. In Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, angry Islamists with long beards and floor-length robes are demonstrating in the streets, raising their fists against both their enemies in India and their own government, and swearing revenge for the government's banning of their Islamic charity, which is suspected of having ties to terrorism.

    The 57-year-old general, sitting in his third-floor office in Islamabad, is a short, wiry man with carefully parted hair. He smiles. Instead of a military uniform, the commander of Pakistan's notorious military intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is wearing a gray suit and a stylish pink tie, his elbows resting comfortably on a large, walnut desk.

    If anyone in Pakistan knows how close the country currently stands to a military conflict with India, it is Lieutenant General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha. "There will not be a war," he says confidently. "We are distancing ourselves from conflict with India, both now and in general."

    His words sound promising, and his sentences are unusually calm for a senior military official speaking in the tense aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. They stand in stark contrast to the views of most of his officers, who are itching to shift their command posts to the country's eastern border with India as quickly as possibly, so as to exact vengeance for public insults doled out by the Indians.

    t would also provide them with an opportunity to ease up on the unpopular front against the Taliban and their allies in Pakistan's western tribal regions. Many Pakistani military officers do not see the Taliban as their enemy, but rather as a group that secretly promotes Pakistan's interests in its resistance against Kabul and the United States. India, on the other hand, has already been Pakistan's enemy in three wars.

    Pasha says that he too has "questions." So far, he says, the Indians have failed to provide evidence to support their claims that Pakistani groups sponsored by the ISI were behind the Mumbai attacks. "They have given us nothing, no numbers, no connections, no names. This is regrettable." Pasha insists that he was willing to travel to New Delhi to help in the investigation.

    If he had done so, Pasha would have been the first director general of the ISI to travel to India, a visit that would have been a minor sensation. Instead, he stayed at home, yielding to the pressure of old antipathies. "Many people here are simply not ready," he says.

    He pauses for a moment. "At first we thought there would be a military reaction. The Indians, after the attacks, were deeply offended and furious, but they are also clever," he explains. The general presses his hands together and leans forward to give emphasis to his words. "We may be crazy in Pakistan, but not completely out of our minds. We know full well that terror is our enemy, not India."

    Pasha has commanded the ISI for the past three months. Before that, he was the general in charge of operations against militant extremists in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. The agency he now heads has been likened to a black box containing secrets with which not even the civilian government in Islamabad is entrusted.

    Capable of Anything at Home and Abroad

    The ISI is believed to have rigged elections and toppled governments, and is even suspected of involvement in the elimination of politicians that had fallen out of favor. With its decades-long history of double-dealing and intrigues, the ISI is now believed to be capable of just about anything, both at home and abroad.

    Pasha says that he wants to reestablish credibility for his agency. The shutting down of the so-called political wing, whose activities included spying on key policymakers, is seen in part as the military's concession to the country's new civilian government. But Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani experienced the limits of the ISI's goodwill in the summer, when he announced his intention to place the agency under the control of the interior minister. Gilani quickly cancelled his plans after receiving a call from the powerful chief of Pakistan's military, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

    General Pasha orders tea served in white English porcelain cups. With its expensive wooden furniture, elegant armchairs and giant flat-screen TV, his office looks more like the conference room in an American five-star hotel than the command center of an intelligence agency.

    Pasha switches back and forth between English and his surprisingly accent-free German. He lived in Germany for a few years in the 1980s, taking part in officer training programs.

    "It is completely clear to the army chief and I that this government must succeed. Otherwise we will have a lot of problems in this country," he says solemnly, placing his hands next to each other on the desk. "The result would be problems in the west and the east, political destabilization and trouble with America," he continues, wrinkling his brow. "Anyone who does not support this democratic government today simply does not understand the current situation." As if making a confession, he adds: "I report regularly to the president and take orders from him."

    But how much control does Pasha have over his own organization? Many officers, who grew up with rising Islamic fundamentalism and the concept of India as an enemy, are opposed to the new course taken by President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. They see the war against terrorism as the Americans' war, not theirs. "Many may think in a different direction, and everyone is allowed to think differently, but no one can dare to disobey a command or even do something that was not ordered," the general says quietly.

    Pasha appears on the far right in a photograph that went around the world. Standing next to him is army chief Kayani. In the photo both men, together with senior US military commanders, are standing on the US aircraft carrier "Abraham Lincoln." The meeting took place in late August, and the Americans allegedly reached an agreement with the Pakistanis that they would be allowed to fight the leadership of the terrorist network in the tribal regions with armed drones, while Islamabad would put on a show of protesting loudly against the violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.

    The general denies that this was the case. "We never discussed that, nor did we agree to it," he explains, shaking his head. "But to be honest, what can we do against the drone attacks? Should we fight the Americans or attack an Afghan post, because that's where the drones are coming from? Can we win this? Does it benefit Pakistan?"

    A major is standing in the doorway, indicating to Pasha that he is running out of time. The general glances at his watch and motions to the major that he will need another five minutes.

    Before Pasha's appointment, relations between the American and the Pakistanis had reached a low point. At that time, the ISI was still headed by a close associate of former President Pervez Musharraf, General Nadeem Taj. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) presented Islamabad with a dossier describing close contacts between ISI agents and the Taliban and radical insurgency leaders like the Haqqani clan, as well as warning against US attacks.

    Overcoming Old Divisions

    In the past seven years, the Americans have given the Pakistanis about $11 billion (€8 billion) in return for their support in the war against terror. The US military depends heavily on sources provided by the ISI, which, in addition to its estimated 10,000 regular employees, maintains a vast network of spies and informants. After the new regime had come into power, everyone approved of the cosmopolitan Pasha, who recently convinced tribal elders in the Bajaur border region to organize so-called Lashkars, or armed tribal militias, against the extremists.

    Shortly after assuming his new position, the three-star general traveled to the United States to meet with his counterparts there. But first he visited Amrullah Saleh, the Afghan intelligence chief, who told SPIEGEL a few months ago that he had "piles and piles of evidence" that Pakistan's intelligence agency is behind the insurgency in his country. The meeting lasted more than four hours, and when it ended Saleh had accepted an invitation to Islamabad.

    Pasha is apparently adept at overcoming old divisions. However, it is worth listening closely when the general explains why he too is unwilling to apprehend the Taliban leadership, even though many claim that Taliban leader Mullah Omar, for example, is in Quetta, a city where Pasha lived until a few years ago. "Shouldn't they be allowed to think and say what they please? They believe that jihad is their obligation. Isn't that freedom of opinion?" he asks, defending extremist rabble-rousers, who are sending more and more Koran school students to Afghanistan to fight in the war there.

    Such words from Pasha arouse the old suspicion that the ISI is playing a double game.

    The major is standing in the doorway again, but this time he won't back down. Pasha stands up and smoothes his gray suit. What will the solution look like for this region, which threatens to descend into chaos? He believes strongly in the West's coalition with Pakistan, says Pasha, and is convinced that by working together, everyone will be able to defeat terror. But it will not, he adds, happen punctually and according to plan, as is customary in Germany. The general smiles politely, and then he closes the elevator door.

    Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

    ---------------
    For completeness, those who want to read on Saleh's interview mentioned above can do so here
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,571469,00.html
     
  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Dude they ain't realized this even now. It is simply an eye-wash to fool the world and let us lower our guard. Take a look at the trouble they continue to brew up in Kashmir. Is that any way proving their words to be anything else other than lies? Nothing.
     
  9. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    Tell ISI to help thousands of pakistans affected by the recent floods and not to divert the funds to Taliban and LeT.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The design behind the ISI's leaked assessment
    S D Pradhan, 23 August 2010, 04:09 AM IST
    The recently published ISI's assessment in the Wall Street Journal leaked by a senior ISI official, which concludes that a "two-thirds likelihood a major threat to the state coming from militants rather than from India or elsewhere," appears to be a well crafted stratagem to ensure continued inflow of US aid without any criticism in the US congress as also to counter charges that the US aid is misused to develop the Pak Army's capabilities against India.

    Some of the Pak analysts have commented which give credence to this assessment. Talat Masood, a retired general and an analyst on security matters, stated that the assessment is based on the awareness that some of its previous friends have become its sworn enemies. Another analyst Imtiaz Gul similarly remarked that "many of the militant groups that the Pakistani military worked with in the past have now turned against them". However others like Ayesha Siddiqa suspect it to be a part of a game plan. Siddiqa have remarked that" there are games within games".

    Since this assessment reflects the ground realities, it is logical to conclude that the Pak intelligence agency has changed its stance. Some articles in the media have highlighted that for the first time in 63 years, the ISI has determined that a majority of threats come from the Islamist militants rather than India or elsewhere. However, an examination of two related dimensions suggests that there had been no change in the ISI's objectives.

    The first dimension relates to the ISI's activities towards India that would provide indicators that in the Pakistani perception its homegrown terrorists have overtaken the Indian Army as the greatest threat to its national security. Statements of politico-military nature by top Pakistani leadership continue to reflect a high degree of antipathy towards India. In fact, the anti-India statements have become shriller. In February 2010, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani , the Pak Army averred that" the Pak Army remains an India centric institution and this reality would not change in any significant way till the Kashmir issue and the water disputes are resolved." Since Sharm El Sheikh joint statement, Pak leadership has been increasingly harping on the allegation that India was assisting the Baluchi insurgents. The Pak Interior Minister, Rahman Malik went further and blamed India of not only assisting the insurgents in Baluchistan but also for destabilizing FATA as well as for involvement in Lahore terrorist attacks in March 2010.

    The views of Kayani are of utmost importance as he in the capacity of head of the Pak Army determines Pakistan's India policy. Kayani appears to be a true disciple of one of his predecessors Mirza Aslam Beg. The latter, who is known to be articulating the policies of the Pak Army, had systematized the use of terrorism as an instrument to deal with India during his tenure. Even in his recent articles he continues to put emphasis that Kashmir remains the unfinished agenda of the partition. More important was his view on Afghanistan. During his tenure as the Army Chief, Beg provided maximum articulation to the concept of strategic depth. This doctrine calls for the need for dispersal of Pakistan's military assets in Afghanistan, well beyond the reach of India's military offensive capabilities. This aspect of the doctrine became clear during the Pak Army exercise called Zarb-e-Momin. Keeping this concept in view, Kayani during his tenure as the ISI chief began to oppose forcefully the Indian presence in Afghanistan. The attacks on the Indians have substantially increased since 2004 and the Pak proxy war has been extended to Afghanistan. The current reports suggest increased use of Taliban and networks of Hekmatyar and Haqqani as also Lashker-e-Toiba against Indians by ISI. In fact there are no indicators to suggest that the Pak Establishment has given up the policy of using terrorism as an instrument against India.

    In recent months, assiduous efforts have been made by pak Establishment to pressurize the Karzai government to accept the Taliban and Islamist groups to form the part of the power structure and remove those who oppose this move with the objective of removing Indian influence in Afghanistan. In the last few months, the ISI chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha had been shuttling between Kabul and Islamabad to pressurize Karzai. In the last month, Kayani himself went to Kabul. This followed the sacking of Amrullah Saleh, Karzai's security chief and Hanif Atmer, head of the interior ministry, who were not willing to tow the Pak line of accommodating the Taliban elements.

    In addition, the Pak Army continues to acquire weapons which can be used only against India and not against terrorists. In view of the above, it would be unrealistic to assume that Pakistan Army and ISI could have downgraded the threat from India. The Pak Army, which is using the threat from India to remain in a dominant position, is doing its best to keep it in the sharper focus of the Pakistanis. The impact of this policy is that in Pakistani nationalism is equated with anti Indian sentiments.

    The second dimension relates to the possibility of a group of officers in ISI holding an independent and contrary view from that of the top ISI and Pak Army leadership. Since the ISI is mainly manned at the top level by the officials drawn from the armed forces, such a possibility appears highly unlikely as they are likely to follow the line of the Pak Army and the ISI. This agency, which is involved in the collection of intelligence, has no separate unit to make an objective strategic assessment. In fact, from the intelligence documents prepared by the ISI that have become available, it is clear that the ISI assessments reflect extreme hard-line views against India.
    The moot question is why ISI made such an assessment and then leaked it to the media. From the analysis of the available evidence, the reasons behind this act can be understood clearly. Of late, the US had increased the pressure on the Pakistan to give due attention to the terrorists operating from the Pakistan - Afghanistan region and stop supporting the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements. Soon after the failed attempt to attack the Time square, the US had given a stern warning to Pakistan on the support to terrorists. Prior to the US-Pak Strategic dialogue, several experts cautioned the US Congress on the growing nexus between the ISI and terrorists. Marvin G Weinbaum of the Middle East Institute-a Washington based research organization pointed out that despite ban on the LeT, the outfit was allowed to function with impunity and the ISI continued to consider the terror group as an asset. Liza Curtis of the Heritage foundation that the presence of Hafiz Md Saeed at public rallies, which were attended by Pak ministers as well, suggested continued nexus between ISI and LeT. Another analyst Ashley J Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment pointed out that ISI was providing intelligence to LeT for selected targets.

    The US officials too had been pointing out the continued close nexus between the ISI and the terrorists and for over projecting unnecessarily threat from India. The former Director National Intelligence Adm. Blair said that the Pak Establishment and the ISI continue to support the Taliban to maintain its strategic depth against. In May 2010, the US administration asked Pakistan to shun India centric policy. Last month, the US officials more frequently spoke on the continued nexus of Pak intelligence agency with the terrorists. On 22nd July, Richard Holbrooke, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, highlighted the nexus between the ISI and terrorists as the real problem. The next day Michael Mullen, Chairman, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, stated that the overall strategic approach of the ISI needed to be fundamentally changed. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, during her visit to Pakistan had pointed out that elements in the Pak Establishment knew the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. More recently, Elizabeth Byrs, UN spokesperson of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs rightly pointed out that the reason for not being able to arrange sufficient funds for the relief work in Pakistan was its image deficit. The US President had faced problems in getting the clearance for $ 59 bn for war funding after the Wikileaks expose. The Pak linkages with the terrorists were criticized.

    The above appears to have brought home the fact to the Pak Establishment that to continue to get aid from US without criticism, it was necessary at least to project that Pakistan was changing its threat perception. Pakistan knows it pretty well that the US would continue to support Pakistan because of its strategic interests, yet a hint of change in the Pak priorities of threats could reduce the criticism in the US Congress. Hence, an intelligence assessment to meet the requirement got prepared and was quickly leaked to the press. To give credence to this assessment, the Pak Ambassador in US Husain Haqqani was made to state that" Islamabad's pro-occupation with India that came in the way of its doing more to show its commitment to fighting terror". Without a directive from the top, the diplomat could not have taken a line that was contrary to the Pak Army chief's stated policy.
     

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