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Pak ISI more loyal to extremists than government: US daily

July 11, 2008 15:41 IST

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The Bush administration has shored up President Pervez Musharraf [Images] "for far too long", an influential American daily on Friday said, underlining the need for the US to work with the ruling alliance in Islamabad "to regain control" over the Pakistan Army and the Inter Services Intelligence that seem "far more loyal to the extremists than their own government."

The New York Times said the US has made a lot of policy mistakes in Pakistan "most notably supporting Pervez Musharraf for far too long."

The Times has been critical of the role of the Pakistan Army and intelligence services, particularly the ISI, that has been shown to be "a law unto itself".

It has underlined the need for the US to work with the new government in Islamabad to establish spending priorities so as "to regain control" over the Pakistan military.

The Pakistan Army has "too often been a law unto itself and intelligence services seem far more loyal to the extremists than their own government," The Times said in an editorial 'The Talibans Rising Tide'.

The new government, it said, had deluded themselves that they can negotiate a separate peace with the Taliban leaders.

However, it warned against sending American troops into Pakistans restive tribal border regions to clean out Taliban and Al Qaeda [Images] forces.

The Bush administration has showered Pakistan with more than $7 billion in military aid over the past six years, with "little of it actually being used for counter-insurgency purposes."

Over the same period, Washington has provided less than $3 billion in all other forms of assistance.

More than a thousand Pakistanis have been killed in terrorist attacks in the past year, mostly in the country's border areas where radical Islamic fighters are seeking to impose medieval social laws, including the imposition of the Sharia.

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