`US military action could trigger quick response`

Pasha reportedly told the meeting that the ISI was not "exporting terrorism".

Updated: Sep 29, 2011, 23:57 PM IST

Islamabad: Any unilateral US military action
against militants in Pakistan will be "unacceptable" and the
country`s armed forces have the capability to respond to such
a strike, ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha told a meeting of
the top political leadership on Thursday.

Pasha made the remarks while briefing a meeting of all
political parties convened by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani to forge a consensus response to tensions with the US,
TV news channels reported. There was no official word on the
Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief`s briefing.

Briefing the politicians about the security situation and
challenges facing Islamabad, Pasha was quoted by the news
channels as saying that "political, diplomatic and military
channels" should be used to resolve differences between
Pakistan and the US.

Pakistan will not allow the situation to get to a "point
of no return", he was quoted as saying.

However, Pasha made it clear that any US attack within
Pakistan in the name of fighting militants will be
"unacceptable" and could trigger a "quick and equal response",
Express 24/7 channel quoted its sources as saying.

Pasha reportedly told the meeting that the ISI was not
"exporting terrorism".

On hearing this, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif questioned the
ISI chief`s remarks and asked why the world community was
accusing Pakistan of backing militants, Geo News channel
reported.

Sharif said all such issues should be taken up in
parliament, the channel added.

Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani responded to Sharif`s
remarks by saying that he would address the former premier`s
concerns, the channel reported.

The military leadership rejected US accusations that the
ISI had backed the Haqqani network in carrying out a string of
terror attacks in Afghanistan, media reports said.

At one stage, Mehmood Khan Achakzai of the Pakhtunkhwa
Milli Awami Party told Pasha that if the ISI wanted, it could
usher in peace in Afghanistan in a month, news channels
reported.

PTI