Pakistan `main threat` to Afghanistan: US senator
Chicago: Pakistan is the "main threat" to Afghanistan and its intelligence service is "the biggest danger" to the government in Kabul, a US senator recently returned from the region warned on Tuesday.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk, just returned from a two-week stint serving as a US Naval Reserve Intelligence Commander, charged in a speech that the militant Haqqani network is "backed and protected" by Pakistan`s powerful spy agency.
"Statements by Pakistani government officials to the contrary are direct lies," Kirk said in a transcript of his address provided by his office.
Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has long been held to keep contact with militants operating in the wild tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border who plague US-led forces fighting the Afghan war.
"Let me be clear: many Americans died in Afghanistan because of Pakistan`s ISI," said the lawmaker, who declared it was time to rethink potentially "counter-productive" US aid to Islamabad.
"Pakistan has become the main threat to Afghanistan. Pakistan`s intelligence service is the biggest danger to the Afghan government. It is also a tremendous threat to the lives of American troops," said Kirk.
Affiliated with the Taliban, the Haqqani network is considered the most dangerous enemy of US troops in eastern Afghanistan.
It was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani and is run by his son, Sirajuddin, both of them already designated "global terrorists" by Washington.
The network has been blamed for some of the deadliest anti-US attacks in Afghanistan, including a suicide attack at a US base in the eastern province of Khost in 2009 that killed seven CIA operatives.
"It has become the most dangerous, lethal and cancerous force in Afghanistan," said Kirk, who declared he had had a change of heart about Pakistan as a result of his service.
"I first served as a reservist in Afghanistan in 2008. I believed that Pakistan was `complicated’, that `we have many interests there` and that we must advance `diplomatically’. I no longer agree with that," he said.
"In such an environment, and with our deficits and debt, aid to Pakistan seems naive at best and counter-productive at worst. I am seriously reconsidering and rethinking how well aid to Pakistan served us," he said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Check cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.in for CBSE Class 10 X Board Result at 2 pm
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- GUJCET Results 2015 declared on gseb.org
- Pakistan break Team India's long-standing ODI record at home soil
- Centre moves SC against Delhi HC order on LG's powers; hearing on Friday
- Gujjar agitation: Centre sending additional forces to vacate rail tracks, say sources
- Islamic State attracts young recruits with free honeymoon, stipend for family
- MSBSHSE Class XII HSC results 2015: Maharashtra Class 12th Board results declared on mahresult.nic.in