Islamabad: The Haqqani network, which the US now holds responsible for recent attacks on the US embassy in Kabul, was the "blue-eyed boy" of the CIA for many years, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said.
US military commanders have accused Pakistan`s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, of supporting the Haqqani network for carrying out two attacks on the US embassy in Kabul and US military base in Afghanistan`s Wadak province this month.
Khar rejected US accusations against the ISI, and said it has no links with the Haqqani network.
She made the remark in an interview with Al Jazeera.
"If we talk about links, I am sure the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) also has links with many terrorist organisations around the world, by which we mean intelligence links," she said.
"And this particular network, which (the United States) continues to talk about, is a network which was the blue-eyed boy of the CIA itself for many years."
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen Sep 22 accused the Pakistani government of supporting the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network.
Mullen called the Haqqani network a "veritable arm" of the ISI.
He said the ISI-supported Haqqani network was behind recent attacks in Afghanistan, including the Sep 11 truck bomb attack and the Sep 13 assault on the US embassy in Kabul.
On Mullen` statement, the minister said: "It is something that goes very, very unappreciated on our side. This is unsubstantiated. No evidence has been shared with us."
Partners and allies, she said, do not talk to each other through public statements.
Islamabad has taken up the matter with Washington, but the spate of hostile statements coming from senior US officials meant that the US has taken a policy decision, Khar said.
If that was the case, then "we have the right to make our own decision".
"I just hope that we`ll be given a chance to cooperate with each other and the doors will remain open - because statements like this are pretty much close to shutting those doors," she added.