WASHINGTON DC: Former US presidential hopeful, Republican Senator John McCain says it is reprehensible that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence maintains a close relationship with the Haqqani Network that is responsible for American deaths.
Addressing a packed hall at the think tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC, Senator McCain said that he had sympathy for Pakistan’s military since the Pakistani government is dysfunctional, but said that it remained a “source of never ending frustration” that the ISI had a continuous relationship with the Haqqani Network, when General Kayani is responsible for appointing the head of the ISI.
In response to a question on General Kayani’s recent statement regarding India, the US senator said while he appreciated the statement, the fact remains that the Pakistan Army’s best troops and equipment were on the border with India and not Afghanistan. He also criticised the Obama Administration’s policy on reconciliation with the Taliban. He added that the US should have a strategic partnership with Afghanistan, saying it would “demonstrate to Pakistan that continued support for Taliban will leave them more isolated and less secure.”
In response to a question on Kashmir, Senator McCain said that it was not an excuse for Pakistan to not break ties with the Haqqani Network. Senator McCain said that Kashmir, which he dubbed one of the most beautiful places on the earth, remained a longstanding problem.
Senator McCain called the incident of US soldiers photographed with body parts of Afghans published in the Los Angeles Times as “deplorable and despicable”. He said it tarnished the work that the US soldiers are doing out here, and said that 99.9% of young Americans serving in Afghanistan have the highest standards.