Pakistan army says New York Times report is a direct attack

Published: July 10, 2011
Pakistani chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas answers a question during a press conference in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pakistani chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas answers a question during a press conference in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


Military authorities on Saturday sharply reacted to reports appearing in The New York Times, calling them “baseless and mischievous”. Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan Army’s media wing, stated that NYT has been publishing a series of “unsubstantiated news reports” against the army and the ISI.

“The ISPR director-general Major General Athar Abbas rejected the allegations levelled against the army and ISI,” the media wing quoted military spokesman as telling a foreign news agency during an interview.

Maj Gen Abbas in an interview with Reuters said that NYT’s criticism was a “direct attack” on Pakistan’ security. In a wide-ranging interview, he repeatedly criticised NYT’s reporting and said it was part of a calculated plan by the US to “weaken the state”.

“This is a direct attack on our security organisation and intelligence agencies,” he said. “We consider ISI as a strategic intelligence organisation, the first line of our defence.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Usman
    Jul 10, 2011 - 10:01AM

    We are with you pak army


  • Mirza
    Jul 10, 2011 - 10:04AM

    ISPR can browbeat the NY Times but how about contradicting the statements of the US army chief and Leon P, the secretary of defense? If these are not refuted then that means they are right?


  • ba ha
    Jul 10, 2011 - 10:05AM

    Nytimes is the foreign policy advance newsletter. There is no point in attacking the messenger.
    Do all your talking in Afghanistan.


  • Husein Ali Khan
    Jul 10, 2011 - 10:15AM

    Go “Sue” NYT for slender. Bohat hoo gaya

    Let AQ Khan come out with open denial before International press . Also request North Korean’s to deny the letter as forgery.


  • Mason
    Jul 10, 2011 - 10:20AM

    Truth hurts.


  • Malik
    Jul 10, 2011 - 10:27AM

    America is plotting silent war against Pakistan by weakening our Pak Army. Unfortunately our media and political parties like PMLN is working on their agenda to defame Pak Army.
    Long Live Pak Army we are with you, All your sacrifices will be remembered, our soldiers are giving their lives to protect us. Shame on all who are working to damage Pak Army……


  • Jul 10, 2011 - 10:38AM

    Why don’t you ban NYT and Washington Post reporters from Pakistan. They really are mischievous and unworthy.


  • rameed
    Jul 10, 2011 - 11:08AM

    Why does Pakistan also not refute claims of local newspapers, including those of Saleem Shahzad, that Pakistan has long been cozying up with militant groups like the Haqqani network? At the heart of the problem is the lack of transparency in this country. In the name of national security, Pakistan, through its military, has kept information from the public, thus creating a situation rife for conspiracy theories. Results of investigations, if any, are not disclosed. Pakistan, in its business-as-usual attitude, has been contended with issuing denials and finger-pointing such as these. Apparently, it is not worried about its negative image abroad, so long as China, an all-weather friend, sticks to it.


  • Alam
    Jul 10, 2011 - 11:08AM

    Cry babies


  • Bilafond
    Jul 10, 2011 - 11:19AM

    NEW YORK TIMES your country tell me you guys thrive on fabrication and “cock and bull”


  • leo
    Jul 10, 2011 - 11:20AM

    well Army is already very infamous, what it can do is conquer Islamabad every few years, until it leaves Politics to politicians it can not function as an effective defence organ for Pakistan


  • Malik T
    Jul 10, 2011 - 11:36AM

    Even if this report by NYT is based on ill-intent, it would be better to get a credible investigation conducted so that individual black sheep within the army, or judiciary and politics are not allowed to tarnish the image of Pakistan. The institution of our army is too important to be allowed to become a target of such a campaign. I think Pakistan and its 170 milion people have suffered more than their share for the crimes and greed of few. If this report by NYT is considered to be credible by US govt, what stops them from proceeding against the few accused, who have their assets and families located either in Gulf, UK, USA, Canada, Spain etc., instead of hounding Pakistan and its institutions.The American govt is aware of the fact that if these few greedy sleazy individuals have done what it has accused them of doing, they are not loyal to their country. It also is aware of the bank accounts and assets that their families have accumulated outside Pakistan. So let them freeze these accounts and return these funds to Pakistan, if it has no ill-will for this country.


  • Mailk
    Jul 10, 2011 - 11:47AM

    Nation stands behid its Armed forces, God Bless Pakistan, Pakistan Army.


  • Jul 10, 2011 - 11:52AM

    In the end it just testifies to the fact that the Pakistani military is weak in every area. If the things claimed are baseless and can weaken them, they never truly had support and strength to begin with. All it is, is words. Words they could easily turn around and have them harm the accuser instead. That is, only if they actually can deny it truthfully with something to support it.


  • SNAli
    Jul 10, 2011 - 12:15PM

    For “National interest & National Security ” we Must, Should, Will & can do anything!!!!!!


  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jul 10, 2011 - 12:26PM

    We must not forget that NYT represents the establishment and all affiliated offices in USA so importance must not be given to what ever pours out from NYT.


  • zar rizwan
    Jul 10, 2011 - 12:37PM

    NYT and his so called experts on Pakistan armed forces have no idea such tactics will never do any damage to our country or to our armed forces,
    Look at our history which is very short and how much tragedies passed but resilience of our nation never even slightly slip this is a lesson for whole world,
    More pressure we will rise more because this is our mentality and our conviction we know how to survive even in the most difficult situations,
    Every day bomb blast, load shedding law and order situation incompetence of our political elite but still our markets and play grounds full of people,
    You know why how you know since writing poisonous articles in cool and comfort zone of NEW YORK city come to our cities and see with your eyes the difference,
    You are not just targeting our armed forces but questioning the abilities of 180 million people but always remember your old fashioned tactics of evil designs will never work,
    We are here to stay you do whatever you want but never forget toughness of armed forces and 180 million people are always behind our armed forces,


  • Haris Chaudhry
    Jul 10, 2011 - 12:41PM

    Dont shoot the messenger .. !

    The days of double dealing have long gone and US public, Congress, its military and its politicians dont seem to have any appetite for dubious actions and they want an honest, reliable and committed partner, especially the one that relies on its largesse with billions in aid and shiny weapons.

    We cant protect Haqqani and his forces (who sends hundreds of fighters into Afghanistan to kill NATO forces and innocent civilians) and yet claim to be doing all our best to defeat terrorism and helping our ally US.

    We cant have the leaders of LeT, Jaish, TNSM holding processions 25 kms from our parliament spewing venom against Jews, Hindus, Shias, Americans and promising holy wars, yet keep repeating the mantra that we will defeat terrorists and terrorism and eradicate it from our society.

    We cant fool all the people all the time.. Better understand it before we are declared a failed state and a sponsor of terrorism.



  • scoobydoo
    Jul 10, 2011 - 1:46PM

    Strange allies they are….


  • Truth vs Fact
    Jul 10, 2011 - 1:55PM

    Its good to see that Pakistan Army has learned that they must repel US from itself in order to remain clean from malignancy of filth, no matter they learned it the hard way. This Army now has to learn that they must ally with Taliban (no matter good or bad) in order to survive.


  • LoneLiberal PK
    Jul 10, 2011 - 2:12PM

    They should try to calm down and actually answer the objections by NYT instead of just denying it. I have never seen a criminal who didn’t scream “NO I DIDN’T” when faced with criminal charges.


  • Irfan
    Jul 10, 2011 - 3:01PM

    It is hard to trust the Pakistani army and the ISI. They don’t have too much credibility left.


  • Roflcopter
    Jul 10, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Now it is clear what NYT is trying to do. We are with our army


  • sabahat_bhutta
    Jul 10, 2011 - 3:37PM

    America is trying to defame and pressurise our ARMY and ISI. This is also a part of her dirty propaganda against our nation. We stand with our ARMY at any cost and support our ISI. Pakistani nation should not listen to any American agenda. We are with our army. PAK ARMY ZINDABAD.


  • tamaman
    Jul 10, 2011 - 5:43PM

    It is interesting to read the comments made by those pakistanis living there. They have been brain washed and are not able to see that rouge elements in pakistan are manupulating them by using religeon and faith, to the detriment of all. NYT has done a Yeomanary service to Pakistan and the USA. Pakistanis wake up,dont go back medival times.


  • Bangash
    Jul 10, 2011 - 6:08PM

    The usual denials from GHQ/ISI which they later accept.


  • BruteForce
    Jul 10, 2011 - 6:47PM

    ISI can kill Saleem Shehzad but not the New York Times! Recommend

  • M A Jalil
    Jul 10, 2011 - 6:59PM

    It has been very important to be noted that U.S attack plan on Pakistan has been failed after the ultimatum of China to U.S in favor of Pakistan “Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China” thats why human monster (u.s) has been compelled to stop attack on Pakistan.


  • Cautious
    Jul 10, 2011 - 7:04PM

    Pakistani chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas is going to discover that it’s harder to intimidate The New York Times than the local journalist. One grows weary of the response that any criticism of the military is “an attack” which means that the country should rally to it’s aid. The reality is that the military is corrupt, insecure, inept, and in cahoots with the terrorist – that’s a bad combo.


  • Asad
    Jul 10, 2011 - 7:13PM

    How about some news coverage of chemical weapon usage by american drones in FATA and its affects on people???


  • Cautious
    Jul 10, 2011 - 8:02PM

    @M A Jalil. Maybe your Chinese friends don’t read the newspapers – so maybe you should send them copies of the accounts of the numerous drone attacks that have been made since that pronouncement. China won’t even defend Pakistan in the UN — you think China wants to go to war with the USA over you – fat chance – China wouldn’t even go to war with India over you.


  • saad
    Jul 10, 2011 - 9:19PM

    its still not late. ny times or washington post, they r mouthpieces of who is or are really running us of a, and av their (no holds barred) opinion expressed in such rags. so stop taking aid from sam and live on fertilizers and cereals. meaning av some self respect.


  • P N Eswaran
    Jul 10, 2011 - 9:23PM

    @zar rizwan:
    You can go on loading a donkey it will show no signs of it’s imminent collapse. This is no resilience. Ability to repeatedly fail is no resilience. Thanks, the world will not like to learn this lesson from Pakistan.
    The 180 million people you boast of could not develop a single institution than terror enterprise and of course the forerunner to this enterprise – the army, whose brave 1 lakh soldiers surrendered to the Indian Army in 1971 and whose soldiers fought in mufti at Kargil before making an ignominious retreat . This is not a blame on the 180 million people but a sad commentary of them.
    Admitting failure is the first step to success. Denials and alibis ensures failure and normal people see no glory in failure.


  • M. A. Changezi
    Jul 10, 2011 - 9:25PM

    I am no fan of the ISI but hey it is our country’s top intelligence service. Pakistan army and the ISI may have made terrible mistakes (so have the US army and the CIA) but that doesn’t mean we will be up in arms against our own army which is what the US hopes for. IT WON’T HAPPEN. Period. Our government should come up with an accountability mechanism for the army is what all Pakistanis want not the destruction of the army or intelligence outfit. NEVER. As I said earlier the US can plan whatever it wants but Pakistanis turning against its own army ….. Not a possibility. Sorry Obama and co.


  • Ozeee
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:12AM

    @ Mr Haris,

    Sometimes, i feel pity on the mental state of the people like u who takes US as a staunch n faithful ally in the alleged war on terror induced for the accomplishment of some global objectives. First of all u need to put off the definition of terrorism taught to u by BBC, FOX NEWS n CNN. Try to determine that what wud be called what US did with Iraq n Afghanistan n persistently doing in our tribal belt with their UAVs to kill innocent and unarmed Pakistanis.

    You guys are as being more ludicrous than our enemies. Either u r a goof or a sane foe.Recommend

  • harry stone
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:48AM


    That is about all it can manage to accomplish


  • Slam-Dunk
    Jul 11, 2011 - 12:50AM

    Remember how NYT exaggerated Iraq. NYT = CIA


  • Sheeraz Khan
    Jul 11, 2011 - 1:49AM

    ISI must extend the same kind of treatment to these biased journalists from the West or Pakistan like North Korea does, no mercy for evil intention bearers. Journalism is your job, do only journalism and defamation not.


  • Jul 11, 2011 - 2:23AM

    If I understand the report right, The New York Times launched a verbal attack on Pakistani
    Army. But what I notice is Pakistan Army engaged in a war against its citizen constituency
    within the national borders.I find it strange such army is being defended by the civilian
    victims.Must be only one country in the whole world Defense Forces need defense from
    civilians under their attack.
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna


  • Mirza
    Jul 11, 2011 - 8:13AM

    @Cautious: I agree with you. Forget China going to war with the US or India especially for Pakistan. They would not even veto any US invasion of Iraq (twice), Afghanistan, Serbia, Libya and the list goes on. Both China and Russis “tallk a good game” but when the voting in the US, they do not even veto any US move. When was the last time China used its veto against the US?
    Thanks and regards,


  • Jul 11, 2011 - 9:09AM

    @M A Jalil:
    What world do you live exactly? China’s statement did nothing. They behave like good little kids in private. China doesn’t have it in them to take physical action against the US though I do see many clinging to that as a false silver lining. The lack of US direct response shows their lack of concern. One thing you will never be able to accuse the US of is shying away from a direct threat. The only other option is to say the lack of interest in it was due to fear and I don’t care where someone lives in the world, the non-delusional know attempting to make the US submit, especially when it is done in a hostile manner will only get you the opposite. The creation of the US was based on the refusal to submit. They haven’t ever since then. If you want to play such games with the US, the only way to come out on top is to completely wipe the country out down to the last person.

    China is not stupid enough to provoke the US. They know exactly what would happen and it is not in their favor, let alone a sacrifice they’d willingly make for freeloading Pakistan. Most country’s decisions are based on being realistic as opposed to Pakistan who talks a big game based only on twisted history.

    In fact, I’d bet you anything, the moment China made that statement they were probably contacted and told to behave. That’s probably why they’ve oddly disappeared from commenting on the topic. There have been more than one incident that would qualify as a situation China would be required to make good on their word. Pakistan is the desperate and optimistic fool in that area.


  • Dewolf
    Jul 11, 2011 - 1:23PM

    I am agree with Mr. M A Jalil, U.S will hard to attack in pakistan
    I think SW and cautious do not know about the current scenario
    they should read ‘Webster Tarpley investigation’ on this issue
    this u.s foolish step will not only open the gateway to nuclear world war3 but also wipe the world including u.s


  • Waqas
    Jul 11, 2011 - 6:03PM

    Pakistan Zindabad; Pak Army & ISI Paindabaad’


  • Jul 11, 2011 - 9:34PM

    A.How about Gen Athar Abbas calling the NYT editor for a debriefing over a cup of tea a la Saleem Shahzad?


    B. How about Pak Army refusing to accept all Dollar aid from now on?


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