Chairman of the Joint Chies of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen spoke about the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency’s role in sponsoring the Haqqani Network. During a committee hearing earlier this week, Mullen said, “The fact remains that Quetta Shura [Taliban] and the Haqqani Network operate from Pakistan with impunity. Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as US soldiers.”
Mullen went on to explain his insights in-depth:
“For example, we believe the Haani Network–which has long enjoyed the support and protection of the Pakistani government and is, in many ways, a strategic arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency–is responsible for the September 13th attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
“There is ample evidence confirming that the Haqqanis were behind the June 28th attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul and the September 10th truck bomb attack that killed five Afghans and injured another 96 individuals, 77 of whom were US soldiers…With ISI support, Haqqani operative planned and conducted (a Sept. 10) truck bomb attack, as well as the assault on our embassy. We also have credible intelligence that they were behind the June 28 attack against the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and a host of other smaller but effective operations.”
Interestingly a leaked State Dept. cable had shown that a senior U.S intelligence official by the name of Dr. Peter Lavoy (National Intelligence Officer for South Asia at the time) mentioned that the ISI “provides intelligence and financial support to insurgent groups – especially the Jalaluddin Haqqani network out of Miram Shah, NOrth Waziristan – to conduct attacks in Afghanistan against Afghan government, ISAF and Indian targets.”
Mullen believes that if these groups are to have continued support, the consequences can prove to be deadly.
“In supporting these groups, the government of Pakistan, particularly the Pakistani Army, continues to jeopardize Pakistan’s opportunity to be a respected and prosperous nation with genuine regional and international infuence,” Mullen said. He also believe that this is not the time “to disengage with Pakistan” but rather that that it’s a time to “reframe our relationship” with Pakistan.