ISI ties with Haqqanis reprehensible: McCain

Published: April 19, 2012
Senator McCain said Kashmir dispute was not an excuse for Pakistan to not break ties with the Haqqani network. PHOTO: AFP

Senator McCain said Kashmir dispute was not an excuse for Pakistan to not break ties with the Haqqani network. PHOTO: AFP


Prominent US Republican Senator John McCain said it is reprehensible that Pakistan’s spy agency maintains a close relationship with the Haqqani network that is responsible for American deaths in Afghanistan.

Addressing a packed hall at American think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, Senator McCain said 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 Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) had a continuous relationship with the Haqqani network, when Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is responsible for appointing the head of the ISI.

In response to a question on Gen Kayani’s recent statement on India, the US senator said that while he appreciated it, the fact remains that the Pakistan Army’s best troops and equipment were on the border with India, and not Afghanistan.

He criticised the Obama administration’s policy on reconciliation with the Taliban. He said the US should have a strategic partnership with Afghanistan, saying it would “demonstrate to Pakistan that continued support for the Taliban will leave them more isolated and less secure.”

In response to a question on Kashmir dispute, Senator McCain said that it was not an excuse for Pakistan to not break ties with the Haqqani network. However, he admitted that Kashmir, ‘one of the most beautiful places on earth’, remains 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 US soldiers are doing out here, and said that 99.9% of young Americans serving in Afghanistan have the highest standards.

Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman said that her country has no connection with terrorist organisations that are creating unrest in the region.

In an exclusive interview with Express News, Ambassador Sherry said the US has expressed concerns about its defence, but Pakistan, too, has ‘red lines’ that should not be crossed.

She said Pakistan does not consider Afghanistan a ‘strategic backyard’.

“Negotiations with the US will be held in light of the parliament’s recommendations,” she said, adding that “Pakistan will in no way compromise on its sovereignty.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Harry Stone
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:57AM

    This is setting the stage for future PAK-US relationship. As PAK can reset its relationship with the US, the US can very much do the same. It will be interesting to see what course PAK chooses for its future.


  • Xeishan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:38AM

    Making of Pak-China-Russia block I’d say :)


  • Qasim
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:45AM

    Senator it is equally (even more) reprehensible that US maintains a close relationship with Israel that is responsible for countless human losses in Palestine and elsewhere, is an aggressor and guilty of gross human right violations. Please get your own house in order first.


  • Atif Razzaq
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:51AM

    Pakistan is a great and powerfull country…….and definitily Pakistan has their own national interest……..


  • plaintalk
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:01PM

    America’s blind support for Israel is more reprehensible. But, first, the joker should change his name to McAbel, because it was Cain who murdered his own brother Abel.


  • Asad
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:24PM

    Were the american trained ANA personnel who targeted and killed several USA and NATO troops also were part of Haqqani network?


  • harkol
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:27PM

    Einstein once said – Insanity is about doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results each time. But, perhaps he forgot tossing of a coin. ;-)

    USA keeps tossing the coin in its ‘on now, off now’ relationship with Pakistan. And Pakistan keeps ensuring it plays a double game of pretending to play with US, while supporting Taliban & other Non state actors. Both are loosing in the process.

    A win-win relationship is when both are able to leverage a relationship for better growth, peace, prosperity. – Not happening.

    So, perhaps both are insane?


  • shah
    Apr 19, 2012 - 12:52PM

    and the congress support for an independent boluchistan is unforgiveable. usa is synonomous with backstabbing.


  • Vigilant
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:22PM

    McCain….i think this guy has personal issue with Pakistan


  • Failure
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:41PM

    why you are not taking actions against the insurgents as you are trying to vanish them from past 10 years through different modernized weapons. is it US failure or Pakistan failure?


  • Rana Ajmal
    Apr 19, 2012 - 2:49PM

    Time for Pakistan to SMELL the coffee!


  • Hassan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:09PM

    … i think its US failure a result of its super-power arrogance and ignorance!


  • Ahmad
    Apr 19, 2012 - 4:44PM

    time for USA to have a faith like Russian’s had after they left Afghan….


  • Truth Teller
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:11PM

    Talk real not nonsence!


  • Lal Bahadur
    Apr 19, 2012 - 8:20PM

    This is the guy who said bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, that was reprehesible and supported the Iraq illegal war, It seems that these guys are totally out to lunch, or simply age has caught up with him.?


  • vickram
    Apr 19, 2012 - 8:23PM

    Where is the evidence Mr McCain ?


  • Harry Stone
    Apr 20, 2012 - 12:16AM

    The US has significant proof that this relationship exists. Given the discussion is about the US and the positions it is developing toward PAK, there is no need to provide PAK proof of anything. This is not about proving something to PAK but what PAK must now prove to the US.


  • Apr 20, 2012 - 12:55AM

    When I look at the eastern sky,
    I see thunderous red igniting clouds
    they are moving toward the territory ,

    Remarkable time is on still no resolve has been appeared
    acceptable to all,every faction attributed different organization
    moving around having view in hand.

    American know after their departure,there would be a historic carnage in the region,Afghan government is not in position to face unrest and on the other hand chance has been disappeared regarding the peace,every door looks closed.

    Taliban want negotiate but American conditions are not acceptable to them.
    unfortunate,solution looks but would have pass through next nuclear war which is most dengrous


  • Apr 20, 2012 - 2:30AM

    Now,we should admit this fact that
    more complication has been created
    by the recent act of some concerned
    United States want some safer way to go out
    but have some reservations,its desire have some justification to some extent,
    on the other hand fragile government in Afghanistan still is not in position to control over the situation without allies forces.Terrorism has also become unleashed in Pakistan and pakistan facing tough circumstances,its falling economy has become a sign of interrogation,Taliban want sit across the negotiation table but having hypocrisy in hand.

    At this moment ,a last option is remained,regional conference must be held,consisting on,Russia,China,India,Afghanistan and Pakistan.if united nations play a crucial role resolving this longstanding issue that is more better,that is the last solution.


  • Apr 20, 2012 - 2:56AM

    Situation has become more complicated after………


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