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CIA gives Pakistan PM charge-sheet against ISI
August 01, 2008 16:46 IST
"Some information in the CIA charge-sheet was so damning that the Pakistanis could not deny them," a senior official familiar with the talks told the Pakistani Dawn newspaper. Diplomatic and US sources said the allegations included in the 'charge-sheet' were almost identical to what The New York Times had reported on Wednesday.
US President George Bush [Images] too expressed concern and some annoyance over the leaking of information to terrorists by the ISI during his meeting with Gilani on Monday. Bush told Gilani that Washington is reluctant to share intelligence with Islamabad because people in the ISI are passing on such information to militants.
In an interview to the Washington Times, Gilani confirmed The New York Times report that Kappes and Admiral Michael G Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Islamabad in mid-July with reports of the alleged links of some ISI officials with militants.
Asked whether he was confident that the ISI contained no pockets of Taliban sympathy, Gilani said: "I am pretty sure about it." But he added: "We will still have to look into (the accusations)...It will be resolved."
Kappes had presented evidence showing that members of the ISI had deepened their ties with some militant groups responsible for a surge of violence in Afghanistan.
According to diplomatic sources, the US is trying to work out an arrangement with Pakistan for curtailing the ISI's power. Under this new arrangement, the ISI wing that deals with internal security may be transferred to the interior ministry and the agency may be asked to reduce its role in the war on terror.
"While the ISI may still have some role in both internal security and the war on terror, it will be not be as influential as it is today...At least this is what the Americans and Pakistanis hope to achieve," said an official familiar with the talks.
The expression of concerns by the US came days after the Pakistan government reversed a formal notification issued by the Cabinet Division to place the ISI and the Intelligence Bureau under the interior ministry. The government withdrew the notification due to pressure from the powerful army and the Presidency.
Pakistani officials who travelled to the US with Gilani tried to dispel the impression that Islamabad was working on "some formal or informal arrangement" with Washington for curtailing the ISI's powers. They pointed out that during his talks at the White House and with senior State Department and Pentagon officials, Gilani had urged them to "look at the Afghan and India factors as well".
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