The Inter-Services Intelligence does not act independently and takes instructions from Pakistani army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, says a former top aide of United States President Barack Obama, asserting that the spy agency has links with the dreaded Haqqani network of Taliban.
Gen (Retd) James Jones, who was Obama's National Security Adviser from January 2009 to October 2010, told the popular Charlie Rose show on the PBS news network that ISI "does not act independently of General Kayani."
Agreeing with the interviewer that the ISI has relationship with the Haqqani network, Jones argued that the Pakistani spy agency does not do things which are not approved by Gen Kayani.
"So therefore the buck stops with him (Kayani)," Rose commented. To this, Jones said: "For reasons that they should explain perhaps at some point, the military influence in Pakistan on the destiny of the nation is very high in relation to the position that they occupy.
"In other words, we don't have a (Pervez) Musharraf running the government. But it isn't far from that in terms of the influence that the military has. So I know that people point at the ISI. But you know who ran the ISI before General (Shuja) Pasha," an apparent reference to Kayani.
Jones said that he had many conversations with Kayani in this regard when he was the National Security Adviser. And during these conversations Kayani, according to Jones, defended their support to extremist elements.
"We have no faith in you that you're going to stay and you're going to do what you say you're going to do... so we're covering our bets...," Jones quoted Kayani as telling him during their meetings.Jones said that what happens in Pakistan is very hard to explain in a rational, logical sense. "Because the conclusion that I draw is that this is a country that is hell-bent on self-destruction."