Washington: It was ISI which leaked the US intelligence information about bomb making factories in Pakistan`s tribal areas, a top Republican Senator said as he demanded the Obama administration establishes strong benchmarks for American aid to Islamabad.
"When (CIA director) Leon Panetta testified about (sharing information with Pak Army and ISI about bomb making factories) they had notified the ISI about the IED factory and they (CIA) watched it, by satellite, empty out and then the Army came -- that kind of story is so disappointing particularly when we`re talking about IEDs, for obvious reasons," Senator John McCain said.
"I believe that we need a set of benchmarks...expectations that we should have for the government of Pakistan... But I think it`s important in our calculations to point out, we tried the no-relations route. We tried it for 10 years. That move didn`t turn out very well," he said, responding to questions about US relationship with Pakistan at a panel discussion on Afghanistan organised by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think-tank.
He said: "We have to do everything that we can to see that the Pakistanis, particularly the ISI, appreciate the fact that the American people, over time, no matter how I feel, are not going to support the expenditure of billions of our tax dollars if we perceive that they have some elements that are working against us.”
"That`s just a political reality. And somehow, we have to make sure that they understand that."
Expressing concern over the current situation in Pakistan, McCain said the civilian government there is certainly not effective. "Their influence over the military, as we know, is not significant, to say the least. So we really can`t, can`t allow, without trying to change the situation into just for the sake of the young men and women who serve.”
The Senator said: "All of this is vastly complicated by their nuclear inventory. This makes it, obviously, far more critical than it otherwise would be."
"Generally, in warfare, if the enemy has a sanctuary, your challenge is measurably much greater. And that, obviously, is something that we don`t want to have to continue, certainly to the degree that it is today," he said.