Gareth Porter reports the Obama Administration pushed the Congress to extend assistance to the Pakistan military without assurances its intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), will prevent smuggling aid to the ‘militant Taliban’ it’s being paid to combat. ISI is also connected to the suspected perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks.
by Gareth Porter
4 Aug 09 | IPS
Despite evidence implicating the current Pakistani Army chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, in a major military assistance program for the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan over the past few years, senior officials of the Barack Obama administration persuaded Congress to extend military assistance to Pakistan for five years without any assurance that the Pakistani assistance to the Taliban had ended.
Those officials, led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, have been arguing that Kayani is committed to ending support the Taliban and other radical Islamic movements receive from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, but that he is not yet able to control ISI operatives.
Late last year, U.S. officials were reportedly pressing Kayani for far-reaching changes in the ISI that would end its role in support of insurgents in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) demanded that the ISI be put under civilian control and threatened to introduce legislation making military assistance to Pakistan conditional on evidence that the Pakistani military had ended such support to the Taliban.
But Kerry dropped his proposal for conditioning U.S. military assistance to Pakistan on ending the ISI-Taliban program. In February Kerry said conversations with Mullen and “other players” had persuaded him that Kayani and his choice for new ISI chief, Ahmad Shuja Pasha, had “a willingness to engage in transformation” of the ISI.