ISI totally accountable to civilian govt: Zardari

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has claimed that he is in full control of the powerful ISI and that it is "completely accountable now" to the civilian government.

Last Updated: Aug 09, 2010, 21:32 PM IST

London: Pakistan President Asif Ali
Zardari has claimed that he is in full control of the powerful
ISI and that it is "completely accountable now" to the
civilian government.

Zardari also insisted that the days when the country`s
spy agencies, which have long been accused of working with
militant outfits in the region, were more powerful than the
country`s elected leaders are over.

"I think that everybody is completely accountable
now...The only people who need to have more room for
understanding is the international community, who need to
support us more," the Pakistan President told `The Telegraph`
in an interview.

He was responding to questions about ISI and British
Prime Minister David Cameron`s remarks that Pakistan should
not "export terror" to countries like India and Afghanistan,
which is understood to have been aimed at the spy agency.

His comments came close on the heels of leaked US
documents accusing the ISI of aiding militants, inlcuding the
Taliban in Afghanistan.

"...the days when it (ISI) was more powerful than
Pakistan`s elected leaders are over," the paper quoted him as
saying.

Zardari was in Britain on a five-day visit aimed at
burying a diplomatic row between the two countries after
Cameron`s "export of terror" remarks.

ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha had cancelled a scheduled
visit to Britain in protest against Cameron`s remarks.

Pasha was scheduled to travel to Britain with a high-
level delegation for talks on anti-terror cooperation in early
August but called off his visit.

Zardari described his meeting on Friday with Cameron
as a session of "straight talk", which had led to the two
becoming "friends" for the future.

"He also claimed to have won British backing for his
idea of a Marshall plan to rebuild Afghanistan and Pakistan,
ending the poverty that he said left millions of young men in
both countries as jihadist fodder," the paper said.

PTI