C.I.A. believes Pakistan has links with militants

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Washington, July 30 : There is a close relation between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the militants operating in Pakistan's tribal areas, according to American military and intelligence officials.

According to the official sources, a Central Intelligence Agency official travelled secretly to Islamabad this month to confront Pakistan's senior officials with this new information.

The C.I.A. emissary presented evidence showing that members of the spy service had deepened their ties with some militant groups that were responsible for an increase in violence in Afghanistan, possibly including the suicide bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul this month, the officials said.

The assessment specifically points to links between members of the spy service, the Directorate for ISI, and the militant network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, which American officials believe maintains close ties to senior figures of Al Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal areas.

The C.I.A. depends heavily on the ISI for information about militants in Pakistan.

Such reports of ISI officers having close ties to anti-American militants have been the subject of previous reports.

But the C.I.A. and the Bush administration have generally sought to avoid criticism of Pakistan, as they regard Pakistan as a crucial ally in the fight against terrorism.

ANI

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