Pak Army dismisses NYT`s ISI slamming editoria
Last Updated: Saturday, July 09, 2011, 22:27
Islamabad: Pakistan's military on Saturday described as baseless and mischievous the allegations levelled against ISI by the New York Times, and said the newspaper should stop its "vilifying campaign".

Reacting to the editorial in the influential US paper, Pakistan's military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said in recent weeks the NYT has been publishing "wild claims" presented as news stories on the basis of information "supposedly provided by unnamed US officials".

In an unprecedented attack, the Times charged the ISI of being "inimical to Pakistani and American interests" and asked Washington to seek the removal of its chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha while slapping sanctions against its officials involved in terror activities.

The paper also asked President Asif Ali Zardari "to speak out firmly against abuses, insist on adherence to the rule of law and join his political rival, Nawaz Sharif, in pressing the security services to change".

"It (US government) should tell Pakistan's security leadership that if Washington identifies anyone in ISI or the army as abetting terrorists, those individuals will face sanctions like travel bans or other measures," it said.

Abbas said the allegations levelled by the Times against the chief of the country's premier intelligence agency were baseless and mischievous.

Abbas also recalled NYT's apology of March 2004 over its coverage of the Iraq war, when the paper admitted that it should have more aggressively re-examined claims and said that in some cases, "information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged".

Abbas said in most cases such news reports have quoted anonymous US sources, bringing the veracity of their reporting into question.

"If the newspaper continues with its vilifying campaign without any concrete evidence, I am afraid at some point it may end up expressing its deep regret the way it did in the case of its Iraq coverage," the military spokesman said.


First Published: Saturday, July 09, 2011, 22:27

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