WASHINGTON: US officials say there is mounting evidence that Pakistan's chief intelligence agency has been encouraging a Pakistan-based militant network to attack US targets.
The allegations, if fully confirmed, heighten a painful dilemma for President Barack Obama's administration. Washington is under growing political pressure to take action against the Haqqani network after a spate of deadly attacks US officials have attributed to it. These include last week's strike againstthe American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Some US intelligence reporting alleges that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) specifically directed, or urged, the Haqqani network to carry out the September 13 attack on the embassy and a NATO headquarters in Kabul, according two US officials and a source familiar with recent US-Pakistan official contacts. However, officials cautioned that this information is uncorroborated.
Another US official familiar with internal government assessments said that at the very least, the available intelligence strongly suggests the ISI has been egging on elements of the Haqqani network to launch attacks at American targets in the region.
While American officials have aired allegations of ties between the ISI and the Haqqani network in recent days, they have not publicly cited evidence that the Pakistani agency, or elements of it, urged its proxy to attack US targets.
While the ISI's motives in any such attacks are not clear, Pakistan has long wanted to play a major role in Afghanistan's future after the departure of NATO troops, and to counter what it sees as the growing influence there of arch-rival India.
This week, top US officials, including Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, demanded that Pakistan's leaders take action against the Haqqanis, who are based in that country's tribal areas and are considered among the most dangerous insurgent groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Still, despite the threats and an intensified campaign of violence that threatens US efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, the Obama administration has few options for increasing pressure on Pakistan and none of them are good.
After years of efforts to cajole, coax and threaten Pakistan into cracking down on a host of militants operating from within its borders failed to bear fruit, US officials are exasperated.
For the United States one alternative – another cross-border raid, like the Navy SEAL mission that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May -- may be tempting in some quarters. But the risks are high and the backlash from Pakistan would be fierce, almost certainly harming what counter-terrorism cooperation exists.
"The (US) administration has thrown everything at this -- high-level meetings, tons of money, all of these overtures, and it hasn't gotten us anywhere," said Caroline Wadhams, a security analyst in Washington.
"This can't go on forever," she said, "but the problem is that we have so little leverage."
"Pakistan values its relationship with the US and is committed to eliminating terrorism in Afghanistan and from our soil," said A senior Pakistani official. "We will look at all evidence shared by the US side and deal harshly with anyone and everyone responsible for terrorism."
The long-simmering tension between the sometime allies, sometime adversaries came to a head last week after the brazen attack on the US Embassy in Kabul. It was a major blow as Obama hopes to nudge Afghanistan toward stability and gradually bring home US forces after a decade of war.
Since then, American officials, including Obama's ambassador in Islamabad and Mullen, his top military officer, have issued unusually blunt criticisms of Pakistan's failure to curb the Haqqani group -- and made frank statements accusing Islamabad of links to the group.
Mullen, in a speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Tuesday he had pressed Pakistan's army chief in a four-hour conversation on Friday to break the country's links with the Haqqanis.
"We covered ... the need for the Haqqani Network to disengage, specifically the need for the ISI to disconnect from Haqqani and from this proxy war that they're fighting," Mullen said.
The Haqqanis, just one of a host of militant groups that have used western Pakistan as a base for attacks in Afghanistan, are seen as allied to both al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. Supported at times in the past by the CIA, they have had long-standing ties to the ISI.
On Tuesday, regional tensions soared even higher when a suicide bomber killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former Afghan president who had headed efforts to secure a peace deal with the Taliban.
While responsibility for the attack remains unclear, the shocking assassination threatened to do even more to reverse a tentative thaw in perpetually dismal US-Pakistani ties a few months after Osama bin Laden was killed near Islamabad. The initial conclusion of US government experts is that Rabbani's assassination was carried out by Afghan Taliban and had no connection to the Haqqani network.
Vali Nasr, who until this spring was a senior official in the US State Department's Afghanistan-Pakistan office, said efforts to prompt Pakistani action against militants with increased public pressure had fallen short.
"They are not blinking," he said.
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[R]*The World must understand, that an attack on Pakistan would lead to World War, in fact a nuclear World War, China agreed to provide a launching pad to Pakistani Military, That means Pakistan can send countries ( Yes Countries) back to stone age under the Chinese Support, and No country in the world would dare touch china. Plus Pakistan strongly believes that, If Pakistan wont exist, then enemies (both old and new) of Pakistan don't deserve to exist. Nuclear World War. for which Obama administration would be responsible. *
US and NATO forces are not capable to bear Taliban in Afghanistan and they are suffering a humilating defeat. For USA it is not a new thing because USA had also defeated by Vietnamies in 1970s. It is a wise advise to NATO and USA to immediately leave the Afghanistan unconditionally otherwise they have lost all opportunities to safely exit. Why American blaming ISI? To hide their incapabilities and low moral and inability to face the Taliban they are balming the ISI. It is not fair, accept your defeat and leave the Afghanistan safely. It is a fact that US and NATO forces are incapable to defeat the Taliban, because Taliban legitamately defend their homeland from attacking US and NATO forces and as per UNO's Charater.
Very shamerul, USA lone super power of the world is facing a humilating defeat in the hands of Taliban Mujahideen. USA is a hypocritical power, he decleared Taliban as Terrorists, whereas in 1980 when these Mujahideedn fighting with Soviet Forces decelared as Mujahideen. What is the Standard of US? A person if fighting against anti american forces decleared as Mujahid, and if he fight with American he declared as Terrorist, Well Done America.
Now it is a wise advise for USA to immediate leave the Afghanistan unconditionally and do not blame on Pakistan and ISI. ISI is the proud of Pakistan and it has not bleak record like CIA who is evil and murderer intelligence Agency to involved in Drug Trafficing around the world to finance its puppet governments around the world.
Americans are advised to see the fate of Soviet Union, and then see their poor economic conditions. They can not beat the Taliban Mujahideen
@G. Din: 1947 and 1965 Pakistan Won. 1971 Pakistan Lost the civil war and the Indian army came in the last days backed by the soviet union. 1999 Pakistan still controls strategic mountain tops and India needed help of Isreali Drones to fight back. You have never won
and you must have a look on pakistan loss , @Pundit:
"However, officials cautioned that this information is uncorroborated."
Is this similar to US Intel's assessment of Iraqi WMDs? Or their stellar work in preventing the 9/11 attacks?
"And we’re supposed to believe these allegation s without a shred of proof? Shouldn’t Mr Powell come out with a spoonfull of anthrax just about now?"
Don't worry! The proof will come soon just as it did in Abottabad!
Instead of giving money to Pakistan US should built a wall to keep infiltrators out, and man these points. Pakistan, failed to protect attack on its Military HQ and PNS Mehran, don,t count on them for anything.
So where are WMD in Iraq for which an entire country was invaded? Talk about intelligence.
@Bangash India Manufacturing History in Collecting Weapons of Mass Destruction from each and every Country.. Wasting Poor Indians Money on Afghanistan War when they own need to establish Economy to compitate Super Power Economy China!
Future of Pakistan is not very rosy with or without US support. Here are certain facts about today's Pakistan. 1) Pakistan's population 180,000,000 2) Population under 20 years is 90,000,00, 3) 80 percent of these 90,000,000 are not even matriculate. The uneducated population without any skills under the age of 20 years is 72,000,000 4) Imagine when these 72,000,000 will get married and start producing babies. 5) 36,000,000 couples under the age of twenty will produce minimum five children in next twenty years. 6) In next twenty years Pakistan's illiterate population will be 36,000,000 times 5 plus 90,000,000. 7) ANSWER is 270,000,000 totally skill less people roaming in Pakistan.
Pakistan has only one option, invest in education sector only. All Pakistani children deserve to get education. otherwise Pakistan will become burden on herself. It is very scared that half of population is under twenty and 80 percent of those are not matriculate.
@Thomas No one crying my friend..its a Accident which was Investigated by both Locally and Internationally and even United Nation says that Pakistan is not Involve in providing hideout to OBL!! So keep your thoughts little down..single brain too much stress..relax! already United Nations 192 BRAINS clear Pakistan!! The problem, with us that we think too much!! without knowing the ground reality! @Pakistani i known what you feel after dis-respected by some 0ne..and still not trusted after so much sacrifice..so let me tell you some thing that Pakistan is a Great Country and every other country and Super Powers respect Pakistan very Much except some Jealous Countries!! These kind of Statements Issue to keep thing Under Pressure..Consider it like a Game *Tug of war* =)
@G Din What we will ignore is manufactured Indian history.
What kind of game is this. The West is losing in Afghanistan and they choose to blame Pakistan for their own faults? Sorry try again, Pakistan has lost more than any of the Western nations fighting there. Pakiistan needs to care for itself - period.
British writer Anatol Lieven states that if ISI was supporting the Taliban with weapons, training and intelligence, the Taliban would be killing in thousands instead of hundreds as it is doing right now.
What response, cry again as after the Osama affair?. Give me a break!!!
20 Bn USA Aid..ahh you think lucky Pakistan.. i don't think so, I think you forget that is Aid for Fighting Terrorism, Supporting NATO Chain of Supplies, Fight Troops of Taliban and Rest of Aid is for Some USA -NGo's working in Pakistan!! Pakistan get $20 Bn US and lost $200 Bn in War of Terrorism[including some top Aircraft destroyed by Terrorist], 4000 Solders and 40000 Civilians!! Poor Country.. And Now USA still want Moree.!!! Funny of side of story is that they also STOP AID[For War on Terrorism]!!
I think Pakistan did best now its time that USA start accepting its defeat in Afghan-War like in 90s Soviet Union accept before USA also start end like Soviet Union and Stop pointing and Blaming others for its own Security laps!!!
Remember the osama raid, lots of tapes and information on those discs.
US has tried both money power and intimidation with Pakistan but couldn't change the latters policy of playing double game. India having also realised the futility of repeatedly asking Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism, focused on strengthening its border and sealine with its neighbour. US needs to do the same to either take action against Haqqanis themselves or quit Afghanistan like the Russians did and let Afghanistan and Pakistan govts and its people decide their own fate. .
The US has miserably failed in bringing any peace and economic development to Afghanistan, beyond Kabul... How do militants (with heavy arms) enter a fortress like Kabul in the presence of thousands of US/ISAF and Afghan security forces? And they expect Pakistan to seal a 1600 MILES border with Afghanistan... Afghanistan seems to be the burial ground for the arrogance of another super power!!
true...luckily for us the pakistan army is awake while the nation and its politicians sleep.
Ae Tair e Lahooti us rizq se maut achi
Jis rizq se aati ho parvaaz main kotaahi
Our nation can & are willing to make sacrifices for the state. The state just needs to ask
Tu jeevay Watan
Most Pakistanis commenting here seem to have forgotten the 20 Bn USD that their Govt/Politicians have taken from US.
What is one called who accepts money but doesnt carry out the assignment?
KiJ & others who think USA has lost the war in Afghanistan - It is an illusion of the weak.
It's minimal demand was to punish Al-Qaeda in 2001, and that's been achieved. Osama is dead, even when all of Pakistan army tried to host & protect him.
If the Objective of USA was to defeat Afghanistan as an enemy, a few nukes would've finished that job. But, that was never the objective - it was to flush out Al-Qaeda & other radicals, who have made a new home in Pakistan.
So, trouble right now is really about how to leave Afghanistan as a viable state in the face of an irresponsible and conniving neighbor like Pakistan, who seems to think it owns Afghanistan.
The establishment is not to blame here. The concept of existential threat from eternal enemy in control of jugular vein forces the establishment into a strategic hole from which strategic assets operate under the doctrine of necessity. Hope that explains it all.
@Anirudha Sharma: Pakiatan is not Iraq, libya or Egypt. The Pakistani response will be strong enough to put the americans in their place for spreading propoganda.
History is witness that US has always bullied Pakistan. For the first time in our relationship, Pakistani authorties have looked straight into the American eyes and said what is best for Pakistan, Keep your carrots and your sticks, Pakistanis are not ready to take it lying down any more!
US should not be given the opportunity to use and abuse us again.
General Kayani and General Pasha are two names who will chart the future of Pakistan and they want the coming generations to live in respect and honour. We must not give in!
Come what may!
@KiJ: to Anirudha Sharma "The US can’t even sustain a war in a sparsely populated Afghanistan, let alone a war with a densely populated, nuclear power…" US is the Grand Daddy of all nuclear powers, don't you ever forget it! The "nuclear power" you are referring to was routed by India four times and ignominiously stripped of half its territorial domain after which it has not been able to raise its head to peer above its foxhole. Don't you ever forget that either!
@ataullah farooqui: Is that all we can do? Suggest and act on nothing? India has fenced its border with Pakistan and they didn't need to ask any one for their permission as its their own border .. We can fence our border without asking the US or Afg's permission but GoP doesn't want to act to sort out the mess. Our so called leaders are still busy in lip service and filling their own pockets and that is the main reason for all our problems. Next if you ask them they will say it costs millions to fence and seal it and we are very poor to afford it .. But have not we suffered humiliation along with billions loss to the economy due to having an open circus on our Western border? We can save billions by sending back all refugees and closing down that border for all illegal crossings ... That border should be used only for transit and nothing else ... Any one visiting Pakistan can come via Air ... which will be profitable for our ailing PIA too.
No to operation against the Haqqanis. We don't want a backlash in our own country.
And we're supposed to believe these allegation s without a shred of proof? Shouldn't Mr Powell come out with a spoonfull of anthrax just about now?
Pakistan is now making more and more mistakes by ignoring the realities of the ground. Instead of giving attention in developing its economic, education, civil life and other sector it is like a stooped boy insisting in Afghanistan for its strategic depts., so sad. People of Afghanistan do not see the USA or NATO as an occupying force, if even so, they are far better than Puppet Talibs.
@ataullah farooqui "A peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of US, Afgha nistan and rest of the world , which should b ensured at all costs.""It is rather a PIECEFUL Pakistan is in the interest of US, Afgha nistan and rest of the world"
As usuall they want to put the blame of there embarassing defeat to someone else. I bet once US will move out from Afghanistan, Talban will come in power within Six months.
US has ISI phobia what else one can say, they just get childish all the time. they are equally convinced as they were while declaring Iraq has WMD. Just ignore them and sort out other options to fulfil budget deficit.
Americans never want peace in this region :) peace means lots of bad things for US and EU countries. > weapons sale. no more free oil. ISI is doing right thing .. if US is not handled properly this time. they will do same or ever worst than last time.
I am expecting lots of "state of denial" and similar comments from all indian and american paid comentators :)
Just not on. I have no idea what Pakistan expected to gain from this. I think it is more a result of a bankruptcy of ideas. Maybe the thinking is, Pakistan has nothing to lose.
We need smart people diplomats who could carry out lobbying for our international interests, If we fail to invest in Human Resource we are doomed just like any other failed nation . Military spendings must be diverted to create smart brains
ISI should DO its job and that is Taking Care of Pakistanin interests FIRST.
How Ironic! USA finds itself helpless against a nation almost torn apart by bad governance, terrorism etc. Perhaps Pakistan is justified in its allegiance to these networks. Given the way we in the west blast them off, despite the fact that they have suffered the most as a repercussion of this war on terror, it only makes sense that they would actually hate us and wait for opportunities to return us back the favor. From Pakistan's perspective, it makes sense to support these elements of strategic depth. The US is surely going to leave Afghanistan-its no longer a question of whether it would leave or not but rather merely when? Hence, with US not in Afghanistan infighting amongst the tribes is likely to result and Pakistan would want to protect its interests in Afghanistan then, specially since India is also showing a keen interest in expanding its influence in the country. Thus, the situation is actually quite interesting where the US would be forced to take some action in the near future now...Ahh one HAS to love politics...Corrupt and Insensitive yes, but nevertheless exciting and keeps one on the edge of their seats.
Attacking H.q network means more battle field in Pakistan, if american die they are concerned, but if pakistani citizen die as a result of these attacks they don't care because they have paid dollar for that. We don't want to make it our war, we need to look after our border and focus on internal security issues.
We have accepted that no more US interruptions in our internal matters will be accepted by our nation. Whatever ISI is doing will be even more painful then Afghanistan for US now after the drama of Bin Laden. US will have to produce 100X more people & 100X time more nuclear weapons to fight with Pakistan. Pakistan is no more a cup of tea to whom anyone can take a sip anywhere, anymore & anytime. US is doing nothing but creating hatred within people of Pakistan for themselves.
Thank you Allah for granting us courage, showering your blessings & providing us all necessaries to live in such world. Please continue & even strengthen more our selfless devotions for Islam & this country. Allah-O-Akbar, Pakistan Zindabad!
The US can't even sustain a war in a sparsely populated Afghanistan, let alone a war with a densely populated, nuclear power... war is not the solution.
"little pressure" they're finally getting it.
Where is the evidence???????????????
3 people attacked world's most secure place... kept it hostage for 24 hours...
i can understand why US is a cry baby right now... they seem to have been raped of their reputation n respect.. that they want to regain at all costs...
Don't let US exit from Afghanistan until its embarrassing defeat.
In order to build up confidence and to sucure mutual safety from terrorists, Pakistanhad suggested much earlier to buildup border fences to avoid unchecked traffic between Afghanistan and border areas of Pakistan.This proposal was rejected by US as well as Afghanistan.All parties must reconsider this proposal.
M oreover the demand of starting direct war in North Waziristan will endanger pakistans security permanantly after the departure of Nato and US troops from Afghanitan.
A peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of US, Afgha nistan and rest of the world , which should b ensured at all costs.
pakistan's agencies think that by forcing the U.S to withdraw from afghanistan,they can repeat the 90's all over again.their sole interest in afghanistan is to not only find a strategic depth but also tap a strategic pool of poor,uneducated easily brainwashable would be jihadis who can be used to revive the now dying kashmir insurgency.but they forget how much the global situation has changed in past 10 yrs,india is no longer as economically weak as it was back in those days and the world no longer tolerates terrorism in name of "freedom struggles".only if they can spend these energies for the betterment of their own people rather than fighting in kashmir,palestine,chechenya,bosnia and god knows where else.
Ojhri Camp Cleanup In 1988, he was in charge to clean up the Ojhri Camp disaster. Against the estimated period of six months given by United States and French experts, he led his team to clean up the entire dump containing millions of blinds by setting a personal example of handling the highly sensitive blinds with his own hands, in a record period of just 15 days without suffering a single casualty.
Its history repeating its self..... nothing new is goin on in AFG.... its a honey trap.... its the place where super powers are striped off its super power... please read the book Modern Roman .... it tells you about all the factors that make and break a super power....unfortunately America has all the symptoms of breaking down. its a slow process...its a big ship.....but its going down.... AFG or no AFG.... its written on the wall....only Americans cant read it...every one else can.....
Pakistan changes friends. Bolstered by the support of china, Pakistan has prepared to fight US in Afghanistan and elsewhere. But it must remember that there is no permanent friend in international international politics and diplomacy.Neither was US nor will be the China. Pakistan should learn to stand on its feet and not borrow support from others.
There is only one country that wants to sabotage the peace process taking off in Afghanistan. Its importance will be greatly reduced if its propensity to create trouble is curtailed. Being married to lies and playing games of deceit and delusion has cost the people half the country but even that pain could not help to open the eyes. The situation is same as in Nazi Germany before its down fall with the citizens victims of Propaganda.
Wonder if US is preparing ground to attack Pakistan next?