Washington: Brushing aside Islamabad`s
rebuttal, US has fired fresh salvos charging Pakistan`s
military-run ISI of not only supporting the Haqqani terror
network but also `encouraging` it to launch more brazen
strikes on American installations in Afghanistan.
Demanding a "strong and immediate action" against the
outfit, US officials said Haqqani group`s activities have
become "more brazen, more aggressive and more lethal".
Captain John Kirby, spokesperson of Chairman Joint Chiefs
of Staff Admiral Mullen, told Pentagon reporters last evening
that there has been a long-standing historical relationship
between the ISI and extremist groups.
Kirby said: "There has been a lot of activity over the
course of this summer the hotel attack in Kabul, Wardak
truck bomb, attack on the embassy and others smaller level
operations. It has been a very busy summer for the Haqqani
network. It has gone worse.
"Their (Haqqani`s) activities have become more brazen,
more aggressive and more lethal. Information has become more
available that these attacks have been supported or encouraged
by the ISI. The Chairman (Mullen) just had the conversation
with (Pakistan army chief) General (Ashfaq Parvez) Kayani last
week in Spain. He said this because this is the truth."
"All I can tell you that we are confident that the ISI
continues to support and even encourages the Haqqanis to
launch these attacks. I am not going into, at this point,
specifics of the intelligence that we have about the support
they have we believe," he said.
However, Kirby said Mullen has not spoken to Pakistan Army
chief Gen Ashfaq Pavrvez Kayani after his Congressional
testimony on Thursday in which he described the Haqqani
network as a "veritable arm" of the ISI.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said it
was critical that Pakistan break any links they have with
Haqqanis, and take strong and immediate action against this
network so that they are no longer a threat.
But, Carney said, US has an important relationship with
"That relationship and the cooperation that we have had
with Pakistan has assisted us greatly in our efforts to defeat
al Qaeda. It is important to remember that Pakistan has
suffered mightily at the hands of terrorists and they`ve paid
a terrible price for it," he said.
"It is a complicated relationship, as you`ve heard me say
before, and when we have issues that we need to discuss with
the Pakistanis we`re very candid and forthright in doing so,"
A Pentagon official stressed that the lines of
communication with Islamabad are open and there is no
permanent breach in relationship with Islamabad.
"The lines of communication with our Pakistani
counterparts remain open. This is a relationship that`s
complicated but essential," Pentagon spokesman George Little
"We have disagreements, sometimes serious ones. That does
not mean that we are going to stop dialogue. It is important
that we find cooperation on issues that are of interest to us
and fighting terrorism is one of them," Little said.
"I wouldn`t take you to the point where you would suggest
some kind of permanent breach. That is not the case. The lines
of communication remain open," said the Pentagon spokesman in
response to a question.